Canadian Paediatric Spine Society Symposium

Dr. A. Noelle Larson presents at CTD Symposium

Exploring Connective Tissue Disorders and Spinal Manifestations

In a significant leap towards advancing medical understanding and patient care, the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Paediatric Spine Society, orchestrated a transformative event this March. The Connective Tissue Disorder & Spinal Manifestations Symposium brought together medical professionals, patients, and advocates to delve into the intricate relationship between connective tissue disorders and spinal manifestations. At the heart of the event was the esteemed orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Jean Ouellet, who served as the moderator for the afternoon’s discussions.

Unraveling the Complexities: From Diagnosis to Management

Redefining What's Possible

Two prominent speakers, Dr. Tiscar Cavalle-Garrido and Dr. Julie Richer, kickstarted the symposium by illuminating the audience about the nuances of connective tissue disorders and their far-reaching impacts. Their insights delved beyond the orthopaedic realm, offering a comprehensive view of the non-orthopaedic manifestations that often play a significant role in dictating the treatment approaches required for patients under the care of orthopaedic teams.

One of the most impactful moments of the symposium came when Alex Galli shared his personal journey as a patient. His candid narrative added a deeply human dimension to the clinical discussions, reminding everyone present that these conditions aren’t just medical puzzles to solve but challenges that real people face every day.

The symposium also shone a light on available resources for both patients and clinicians. Representatives from the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation Canada took the stage to share valuable information that could empower patients and support medical practitioners in delivering the best care possible.

Bridging Knowledge with Expertise: From Case Studies to Collaborative Solutions

Dr. A. Noelle Larson and Dr. Jean Ouellet, acknowledged experts in treating patients with connective tissue disorders, took the audience on an immersive journey through compelling case studies. These real-world examples brought to life the complexities and intricacies that clinicians face in diagnosing and managing these conditions.


The interactive session didn’t stop at mere presentation. Dr. Larson and Dr. Ouellet guided the audience through collaborative responses to the cases, fostering an atmosphere of collective learning and knowledge sharing. The symposium attendees were not just passive observers; they were active participants, contributing to the discourse with their insights and questions.


Experts discuss case studies

Empowering Change: Insights from Attendees


The symposium left a lasting impact on its attendees. In the aftermath of the event, feedback flooded in, echoing the resounding success of the symposium. An astonishing 92.5% of attendees expressed increased awareness about connective tissue disorders and their effects on the spine. An even higher percentage, 94.1%, felt confident in identifying the appropriate diagnostic procedures for patients with both spinal conditions and connective tissue disorders. This newfound knowledge extended to the management of such cases, with another 94.1% feeling equipped to navigate the complexities of patient care. Additionally, 92% of participants felt equipped to guide patients towards the plethora of local and national resources tailored for those with connective tissue disorders.

A Network of Expertise: From Local to Nationwide

What’s truly remarkable is the scope of the symposium’s influence. With more than 50 orthopaedic specialists from across Canada in attendance, the event succeeded in establishing a robust network of paediatric specialists across the entire country. This network, now well-versed in the intricate considerations and challenges associated with treating connective tissue disorder patients, stands as a testament to the symposium’s potential for transforming patient care and medical collaboration on a nationwide scale.

The Connective Tissue Disorder & Spinal Manifestations Symposium of March 2023 will undoubtedly be remembered as a pivotal event that ignited transformative change within the medical community. As the echoes of knowledge continue to reverberate through the halls of medical institutions across the nation, patients stand to benefit the most—receiving more informed, comprehensive, and collaborative care than ever before.

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