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Courtesy: Hawks Cay Resort at Duck Key

Castellvi’s Duck Key Meeting

Robin Young • Wed, March 5th, 2014

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First, it is on—from April 2 to April 5. Second, the program is very good. Probably Dr. Castellvi’s best yet.

And third, if you come to only one small spine meeting this year, make it Duck Key.

Before he left us, Tony had updated and revised his 2014 program. He scheduled a heavy dose of biologic presentations (including data on 140, 000 patients treated with stem cells). He also put in a large section on common and uncommon spine complications. Finally, he organized debates on MIS, X-ray exposure, posterior interspinous plates, adult degenerative spondylolisthesis and other timely topics.

But most of all, Tony, who was known for his commitment to education and debate, created a terrific platform to expand clinical knowledge and his friends are making sure that this year’s Duck Key meeting lives up to that legacy.

This year, you should come.

The Program

As Tony has always done, the meeting opens on Thursday, April 3 with a solid discussion of biomechanics.

Biologics and Stem Cells

This year’s biologic’s session is the most extensive yet. It is no secret that orthopedics in general and spine specifically have been at the forefront of using stem cells and other advanced biologics for patient treatment. One of the first time presenters at this year’s meeting will be a Ph.D. with data on 140, 000 spine patients who’ve been treated with stem cells as part of a cancellous bone matrix. In the aggregate, spine professionals now have more practical knowledge of the use of stem cells in fusion cases and, soon, degenerative disc cases than any other medical specialty. And Tony made sure that the information would be presented at his Duck Key meeting. We understand, for example, that the latest data regarding the use of stem cells for treating degenerative disc disease was just released. One hundred patients. One year follow-up. The rest of the story will be at Duck Key.

MIS and Other Controversies

Very few spine meetings allow for real debates. That’s too bad. The Current Concepts in Joint Surgery sessions feature debates and they have become the single most popular element in that meeting. Two experienced, smart, research-centric surgeons debating the most important surgical topics of the day is invaluable. This year, Dr. Castellvi organized a great series of debates and controversial discussions.

Here is just a sampling:

The Faculty

Among the speakers are faculty and department chairs from the following teaching institutions:

  • Hospital for Special Surgery, New York
  • University of South Florida
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • University of California San Francisco
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of California San Diego
  • Brown University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • New York University

Course Objectives

Surgeons and non-operative clinicians who attend can expect to leave having achieved the following objectives:

  • Assess and Critique emerging techniques in comparison to current treatment options
  • Discuss biomechanics in both cervical and lumbar spine and how fusion affects motion
  • Understand the use of minimally invasive surgical approach in spine surgery
  • Employ useful surgical techniques to avoid complications in spine surgery
  • Demonstrate concepts learned in robotic spine technology
  • Apply decision making strategies for complex cervical and lumbar degenerative disc

What Makes the Duck Key Meeting Unique

Courtesy: Hawks Cay Resort

The Duck Key meeting is a small meeting—meaning that all attendees and presenters have the luxury of time and availability. What makes it unique is the focus on education and follow through in the form of many opportunities to discuss topics with some of the leading researchers and surgeons in the U. S. Want more discussion of MIS or complications or biologics or biomechanics? Here are the experts with plenty of time to review and discuss.

Then there is the venue. The Florida Keys and family friendly Hawks Cay resort.

Hawks Cay

Dr. Castellvi decided to put his course at the Hawk’s Car resort on Duck Key. Hawks Cay is a luxury resort that is also an outstanding family vacation destination. Pictures do not do the resort justice. Located midway down the Florida Keys on the tropical 60-acre island of Duck Key, the area offers some of the world's best fishing; exciting water sports; dolphin interaction programs; a saltwater lagoon; five gorgeous swimming pools; and a variety of luxurious accommodations, including guest rooms, suites and villas.

So, for all of these reasons, I’ve always recommended the Duck Key meeting and this year, more than any other, I heartily encourage all of our readers—surgeons, nurses, tech, sales people and physicians who deal with back pain—to come to Duck Key on April 2 and experience one of the most rewarding small meetings in spine.

For more information and to register, go to this website:

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One Response to “Castellvi’s Duck Key Meeting”

  1. Steve Miller says:

    I was wondering if the proceedings of this meeting are available or will be published. I am developing stem cell-compatible bone graft materials for spinal applications.

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