New AOTK video

26. April 2017

Take a tour through the world of AOTK

A tour through the world of AOTK

The AOTK (the AO Technical Commission) is one of the four institutes at the AO Foundation and the purpose of this new short film is to share their work with a wider audience. The film walks the viewer through the AOTK world, attending a meeting, observing prototype testing in an anatomy lab and visiting the manufacturing site where production takes place.

As one of the key innovation arms of the AO Foundation, the AOTK comprises 120 surgeons developing and performing the clinical testing of implants and instruments designed to solve existing clinical problems. These surgeons are organized into a variety of groups structured around anatomy and surgical techniques. The film explains the AO's longstanding relationship with its industrial partner DePuy Synthes, and the innovative thinking of the medical members who help to make the TK what it is today.

AOTK Project Manager Mel Forster, the film's originator and narrator, describes how "the AOTK system is an integral part of the AO. Initiated in 1961 by Maurice Müller and Robert Mathys in a collaboration which brought about the first compression plating techniques, the TK continues to push innovation across a variety of fields including trauma, spine, CMF, neuro and veterinary surgery. At the beginning of AO education, it was the products derived from the TK which were used to demonstrate the early AO principles of open reduction and internal fixation. This trend continues today in AO courses all over the world in which product and instrument systems are used to support surgical approaches and techniques of fixation. From first observations however, it quickly became clear to me that many young surgeons are not aware of what the TK is, and the role we play in innovation at the AO Foundation".

Mel goes on to elaborate that "many of today's young orthopedic surgeons aspire to join the AO community, to attend courses as both delegates and faculty and maybe join the AO Research Institute in Davos as a fellow. I believe that the surgeons who attain TK membership are the innovators of tomorrow. The clinicians who dedicate their time to the TK have such a passion for their practice and are always striving to improve the health of their patients. These surgeons are proud of their roles in this institution and work so hard to deliver on their goals; this is why it's important to promote what they do".