Who we are

ISOLS History

Custom-made segmental prostheses were first used in the 1950s and 1960s, as way to replace the skeletal defects, a process led by the pioneering work of John Scales of Stanmore, uk. Following the introduction of improved imaging techniques and adjuvant therapies for local and systemic disease control, the concept of limb salvage using numerous methods of bone and joint reconstruction after tumor resection became increasingly well accepted.

In the 1970s, Jack Ivins, the founder of orthopaedic oncology at The Mayo Clinic, anticipated the challenges involved in the use of custom-made implants and segmental bone allografts, and encouraged the planning of a workshop to discuss the problems and needs that lay ahead in this field. Ed Chao, a bioengineer working together with his teammate Frank Sim, an orthopaedic oncologic surgeon, worked together to plan the first international workshop on “Design and Application of Tumor Prostheses for Bone and Joint Reconstruction.”

Even without the endorsement of the Mayo Clinic, a workshop held at the Kahler Hotel in Rochester, Minnesota during September of ‘81. Professor Kotz of Vienna ventured to organize the second workshop which was held in September of ‘83 in Vienna. At the time, few would have anticipated the turnout of these workshops or the generated momentum.

Two years later, Bill Enneking lent his support and endorsement, by organizing the third meeting and changing the name from workshop to symposium in Orlando of ‘85. He served as the lead person to develop the limb salvage patient functional score system. No one could have speculated that these gatherings would evolve into a regular biannual International Symposium On Limb Salvage (the origin of the name isols) and eventually become a professional society serving as the forum to exchange research, patient care and educational experience among orthopaedic surgeons, oncologists, bioengineers, and material scientists interested in limb salvage.

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ISOLS Meetings

The Enthusiasm and camaraderie among the attendees of the first three workshops in Rochester, Vienna, and Orlando can only be described as monumental. Through a consensus of opinions, the participants voted to gather every other year and rotate among the American Continent, Europe and the Asian-Pacific regions.

The first and second meetings were run as Workshops, the Symposium format was adopted thereafter to make fund raising easier. After the ‘87 Kyoto meeting, an ad-hoc Board was formed to make the Symposium Planning Committee, which consisted of the past, present, newly-elected Symposium chairmen, and a few volunteers from each region. This group was responsible for coordinating the event. Ed Chao was appointed as the secretary of the Committee and he was expected to prepare the Committee’s meetings, usually during the aaos annual convention.

The 1989 Symposium, under the leadership of Frantz Langlais with the close assistance of the Secretary, was particularly successful in fund-raising which had left a handsome surplus to the organization to subsidize future meetings and other organizational needs. To assure a legal status in managing the funds raised from the industry, the organization under a tentative name of isols (International Symposium of Limb Salvage) was formally registered in France.

At the magnificent meeting site of St. Marlo, off the French coast of Normandy, the organization of isolswas formally adapted by the participants in 1989 with a governing board. The Board subsequently approved a set of tentative bylaws and a small annual membership fee, thus creating a bona fide organization that also provides certificates in encouraging participation. A formal bylaws to transform the organization from the Symposium to Society is enclosed in this monograph to reflect the outstanding contributions made by current Board members. Different countries and medical centers in each region have been competing to host future meetings with undiminished enthusiasm.

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