North American Spine Society (NASS)

November 01, 2016


North American Spine Society (NASS)

Founded in 1985, The North American Spine Society (NASS) is a multidisciplinary medical society for health care professionals who specialize in spine care, with the goal to promote evidence-based care while promoting education and research. With over 6,000 members in 67 countries [1], it is one of the largest such societies of its kind in North America. NAAS also publishes two major publications: The Spine Journal and SpineLine. The Spine Journal, launched in 2001 is the official peer-reviewed journal of NAAS while SpineLine is a clinical publication aimed at spine care professionals and those working in this area of expertise [3].

Brief History

The North American Spine Society was officially formed from the merger between the North American Lumbar Spine Association and the American College of Spinal Surgeons in 1985 [4]. The society was originally created with the goal of being an all-inclusive organization that would be open to all physicians who treated patients with spinal disorders.

In the early 1990’s as NASS expanded, it widened its scope to include the promotion of educational activities and the distribution of educational material. At the time, then president of the society Dr John P. Kostuik broadened the organizations range even further to expand its focus on politics, guideline development and the transition to a more “all encompassing” society [5].


The mission statement of NASS is as follows:

“…to utilize education, research and advocacy to foster the highest quality, ethical, value- and evidence-based spine care for patients.”
-NASS website [6]


According to its website, NAAS membership includes more than 8,000 healthcare professionals such as orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, physiatrists, anesthesiologists, researchers and other spine care professionals [7].

Recommended PRO tools

The Lumbar Spine Outcome Assessment Instrument is an assessment tool that was developed by NAAS in 1996 and is used as a disease-specific self-reporting instrument for the assessment of lower back pain.

Contribution to Registries

In 2012, NAAS launched a pilot registry program to collect data on spine treatment clinical outcomes, with the goal being early detection of spinal problems that require deeper investigation.


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