The Last Laugh at NASS.

At the first NASS meeting in the 1980’s, Dr. George Bagby introduced a groundbreaking innovation to the world of spine surgery, the fusion cage.

His creation was the BAK basket, a threaded, hollow, titanium cylinder designed for use in human patients, aptly named after its ingenious creators, Bagby and Kuslich.

What’s intriguing is that, at the time of its unveiling, Dr. Bagby had data only from implanting this revolutionary device in horses. When he presented this concept at the North American Spine Society (NASS) meeting, he faced considerable skepticism, and some even considered his idea a joke.

However, history would soon prove these doubters wrong. In 1997, the company SpineTech, responsible for commercializing the BAK Cage, was acquired for a staggering $600 million. This acquisition marked the turning point in the journey of the BAK Cage, from initial skepticism to widespread recognition and success.

After 1997, everyone wanted to start a spine company and everyone wanted to design a new cage.

The story of the BAK Cage reminds us that groundbreaking innovations often face skepticism, but determination and evidence of their effectiveness can ultimately lead to their triumph. Dr. Bagby’s perseverance and belief in his creation paved the way for a significant transformation in spine surgery, benefiting countless patients in the process. #NASS2023