User Guidelines

User Guidelines


The aim of this project is to develop a web-based teaching and educational resource which will up-skill and educate those responsible for patient management and which will ultimately lead to improvements in the care and management of people with Spinal ailments around the world.

This project will:
  • Support the development of content for the educational resource and web based learning modules.
  • Support the development of the website and interface for the e-learning resource.
  • Enable roll out, implementation and monitoring of the e-learning resource.

1 Modules and content

The comprehensive e-learning resource will comprise 10 professional and 7 consumers modules:

Professionals Modules

Module 1: Basic Sciences

  • Anatomy
  • Physical Examination of Cervical Spine
  • Examination of Back Pain
  • Radiologic imaging of the spine
  • Diagnostic Evaluation
  • General Considerations for Spine Surgery including Consent and Preparation, General Surgical Principles, Informed Consent, patient positioning for surgery, equipments and post-op considerations
  • Surgical Approaches
  • Cervical and Cervico-thoracic instrumentation
  • Lumbo-sacral instrumentation
  • Bone Graft and Bone substitute
  • Neurological Monitoring in Spine Surgery
  • Self Assessment

Module 2: Degenerative Disorders of Cervical Spine

  • Cervical Disc herniation and radiculopathy
  • Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy
  • Self Assessment

Module 3: Degenerative Disorders of the Thoraco-Lumbar Spine

    • Thoracic disc herniations
    • Lumbar stenosis
    • Degenerative Disc Disease with and without facet arthropathy
    • Self Assessment

Module 4: Deformities in Adults and spondylolisthesis

      • Lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis
      • Adult Spondylolysis and Isthmic spondylolisthesis
      • Adult degenerative scoliosis
      • Self Assessment

Module 5: Deformity and Malformation in Children and Adolescents

      • Scoliosis
      • Paediatric Kyphosis
      • Congenital
      • Spondylolysis and Isthmic Spondylolisthesis
      • Self Assessment

Module 6: Spinal Trauma and Fractures

      • Spine Trauma: Occipetal and Upper Cervical Spine
      • Spine Trauma: Subaxial Cervical Spine
      • Thoraco-Lumbar Spine
      • Lower-Lumbar Spine
      • Sacral Spine
      • Acute Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Epidemiology, evaluation and management
      • Self Assessment

Module 7: Spinal Tumours

      • Primary Spine Tumors
      • Metastatic Spine Tumors
      • Intra-dural Spinal Cord Tumors
      • Self Assessment

Module 8: Infection, Inflammation and Metabolic Disease

      • Primary Spine Infections
      • Rheumatoid Arthritis
      • Ankylosing Spondylitis
      • DISH
      • Osteoporosis and Aging Spine
      • Self Assessment

Module 9: Complications and Revisions

      • Post-operative Spinal Infections
      • Management of Dural Tears
      • Neurological Injury
      • Pseudoarthrosis
      • Medical Complications
      • Self Assessment

Module 10: Surgical steps and Video Library

      • ASSI live surgery videos
      • Self Assessment

Consumers Modules

1. Know your spine

1(A) Cervical
1(B) Thoracic
1(C) Lumbar
1(D) Sacral
1(E) Muscles
1(F) Ligaments
1(G) Discs
Self Assessment

2. Back pain

2A.1 Spinal Causes
Degenerative disc disease
Facet arthritis, facet joint syndrome
Herniated lumbar disc
Cauda equina syndrome
Sacroiliac joint pain
Spinal fractures
Spinal deformity, scoliosis
Spinal stenosis
Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis
Spinal Infections
Self Assessment

2A.2 Non Spinal Causes
Visceral causes of back pain
Piriformis syndroms
Degenerative Joint Disease
Limb Length Discrepancy
Mood disorders
Secondary Gain
Self Assessment

2(B) Leg pain (sciatica)

2(B) 1. Spinal Causes
2(B) 2. Non Spinal Causes
Self Assessment

2(C) Neck pain

2(C) 1 Spinal Causes
Degenerative disc disease
Facet arthritis, facet joint syndrome
Herniated cervical disc
Spinal fractures
Spinal deformity
Spinal stenosis
Spinal Infection
Self Assessment

2(C) 2 Non Spinal Causes
Mood disorders
Secondary Gain
Self Assessment

3. Prevention & general health

3(A) Balance activities for home
3(B) Core exercises to strengthen the spine
3(C) Exercises: Back Stretches & Strengthening
3(D) Exercises: Neck Stretches & Strengthening
3(E) Posture and Body Mechanics
Self Assessment

4. Non-surgical treatments

4(A) Braces and orthotics
4(B) Pain intervention
4(C) Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R)
4(D) Physical Therapy
4(E) Self care for neck & back pain
4(F) Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Self Assessment

5. Know your ‘healers’

5(A) Orthopaedic Surgeons
5(B) Spine Surgeons
5(C) Neuro Surgeons
5(D) Pain Physicians
5(E) Physiatrists
5(F) Physiotherapists
5(G) Occupational Therapist
Self Assessment

6. Pain procedures

6(A) Epidural steroid injection (ESI)
6(B) Joint injections
6(C) Nerve block injection test
6(D) Sympathetic nerve block
6(E) Nerve radiofrequency ablation
6(F) Chronic Pain management
6(G) Pain pump (intrathecal drug pump)
6(H) Spinal cord stimulation
Self Assessment

7. Surgical treatments

7(A) Anterior cervical discectomy & fusion (ACDF)
7(B) Axial lumbar interbody fusion (AxiaLIF)
7(C) Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) and OLIF (Oblique Lumbar)
7(D) Minimally invasive spine surgery
7(E) Posterior lumbar discectomy
7(F) Preparing for lumbar spinal fusion
7(G) Spinal decompression (laminectomy)
7(H) Vertebroplasty & kyphoplasty
Self Assessment

2 Content development

Sub-committees will be formed to comprise content experts within each module/sub-module. Each sub-committee will need to:

      • Define learning objectives and expected outcomes for module/ sub-module.
      • Develop a presentation to provide an overview of the sub-module.
      • Develop a range of activity based learning scenarios and exercises utilising case studies, voice overlay, open-ended questions, quizzes, drop and drag activities, video and pictures as and where appropriate.
      • Develop a 10 minute activity based learning to test users’ knowledge at the end of each sub-module.
      • Devise a reference list for further reading and related information (ideally available through an online link).

3 Guidelines for content development

The core modules will contain a series of sub-modules. For each sub-module please prepare:

1. One 10- 12 minute presentation to provide an overview of the sub-module and some essential facts.

2. Three to eight stand-alone activities or short lessons which can contain videos, interviews with experts, case studies, pictures, quizzes, drag-and-drop exercises or alike.

3.1 Instructions for the presentations

1. Pre-requisite -

Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation Tool (2007/ 2010).

2. General -

a. Total size of presentation: 10 mb.

b. Number of slides/ presentation: 40 slides.

c. Duration of presentation: 10 to 12 minutes

d. Create your presentation on a blank background.

e. Presentation can contain- text, images, videos, with or without voice overlay and / or quizzes.

3. Text used in presentation -

a. Number of text lines/ slide: 6.

b. Font size: minimum 24 point.

c. Use simple language. (Remember that we are not trying to write a book. We are just providing introductory and basic information. So think about what you would tell an 18 year old student who has never managed a person with SCI before).

d. Spell-check your presentation thoroughly.

4. Images (if applicable) -

a. Resolution: as high as possible.

b. Try to break up the text with images.

c. Image(s)/ slide: maximum 2.

d. A participant consent form (see Appendix 3) for photography should be taken.

e. If you wish to use an image and you do not have one, use whatever you have and mark it “temporary, needs replacing”.

f. Try to think about how your images will date (think about clothing, gadgets and the like).

g. Think about the clothes people are wearing and appropriateness for different cultures (for example therapists in shorts and shoe-string tops may not be appropriate in some countries).

h. Try not to shoot images in settings that might look outrageously extravagant to some.

5. Videos (if applicable) -

a. Size of video: maximum- 5 mb.

b. Shoot the video against a blank wall.

c. A participant consent form (see Appendix 3) for video should be taken.

d. Note: please also send the original video file with presentation as a separate attachment.

e. Try to think about how your videos will date (think about clothing, gadgets and the like).

f. Think about the clothes people are wearing and appropriateness for different cultures (for example therapists in shorts and shoe-string tops may not be appropriate in some countries).

g. Try not to shoot images and videos in settings that might look outrageously extravagant to some.

6. Voice overlay –

a. Script should be given for each slide. This will be used for voice overlay for the slides which will be done by a professional at the central location.

7. Other Considerations -

a. Don’t try to give all the facts (these can be covered in the modules).

b. Within your presentation you may wish to use quizzes, drop and drag or sequence activities (for details see Ideas for making your presentation and stand-alone activities interactive listed in Appendix 1).

c. Hyperlinks to further information can be placed in the presentation. Remember just to cite the essential and most important ones.

8. Glossary -

A glossary contains definitions of terms commonly used in the course.

a. Keep a list of terms that you may wish to place in a glossary.

b. Please use standard globally accepted definitions.

3.2 Instructions for the stand-alone activities and short-lessons

1. Create your activities and short-lessons in PowerPoint on a blank template.

2. Use at least size 24 point font.

3. Use the notes sections to indicate any formatting requests.

4. Within your activities you may wish to use quizzes, drop and drag or sequence activities

5. Ask questions that have clear answers.

6. Assume that users will not know the answer to anything you ask them.

7. Ensure that all answers (correct and incorrect) have an explanation; This is where users will learn.

8. Links to further reading and Hyperlinks to further information can be placed in the stand-alone activities. Remember just to cite the essential and most important ones.

9. Alternate formats for activities are also possible however these alternate formats can not include quizzes, drop and drag or short answer components

3.3 Miscellaneous instructions

1. Do not worry about formatting. This will all be redone. Just use a blank template with no background colours or distractions.

2. Your presentations will not look like the examples that we have provided in this document or on the web, they will be converted to the final version at a later date.

3. Don’t only present high technology/expensive solutions.

4. Remember that our audience is students and junior clinicians.

5. Try to give examples and case studies involving people from different cultural backgrounds. If you don’t have these, just use what you have and indicate that this could be replaced with different example from another country.

6. Try to include people from less-resourced countries and from different cultural backgrounds on your committee and get their input.

4 Guidelines for uploading content

All content needs to be sent to Dr Harvinder Singh Chhabra at:

5 Website and Interface

The content will be hosted on a specially designed web-site and inter-face. This is yet to be developed.

6 Communication between the sub-committee team

A functioning system to facilitate effective communication and coordination between sub-committee members and sub-committee coordinators is essential.

7 Milestones and deadlines

First draft of content by 15th September 2020.

Launch of ASSI Virtual Conference 2020.