Recipient of a Travel Grant to attend the Annual Meeting of the International Society of Fracture Repair

Thank you for providing financial support that allowed me to go to Toronto for the 8th Annual ISFR meeting. I presented my project entitled “Non-Unions and Smoking on the Efficacy of Two Demineralized Bone Matrix/Allograft Composites” during the clinical studies podium sessions. It was well-received, and at the end of the talk, there was 5 minutes of discussion in which other orthopedic surgeons from the UK also agreed with our assessment that various commercial bone graft DBM’s may not necessarily share the same efficacy.

The experience of delivering a powerpoint presentation in front of numerous well-known international doctors and basic scientists was both very thrilling and scary. I certainly learned a lot, not only about orthopedics, but also about general scientific principles (such as statistics, controls) as well as the asthetics of making a good slideshow.

Besides delivering the podium presentation, I also had a chance to look at the various posters and spoke with various other scientists in the field of bone healing. It seems that the “hot” trend in research is looking at BMP-7 as a good osteoinductive factor, with a role in facilitating faster fracture and non-union healing. Other current trends in bone healing include an emphasis on VEGF and various angiogenic factors, since a well-vascularized fracture site will heal far faster. From talking with other international surgeons, I also learned about the concept of “dynamism” in external fixation; it seems that controlled instability in rigid ex-fix devices actually promote faster callous formation and hence faster healing during weight-bearing. This is a rather counter-intuitive concept which has only been recently adopted among US surgeons.

Toronto was a fabulous city. Although I only stayed one night, I was able to explore around for a little bit and found it to be a clean, safe, yet cosmopolitan city. The seafood was also quite inexpensive as well.

In summary, I had a very good experience at the ISFR meeting, as giving a podium presentation was less stressful and more enjoyable than I had thought. I thank the ASIAM Institute for generously providing the funds that defray the cost of attendance and travel expenses.