About the AO Foundation

The AO Foundation

The AO Foundation
is a medically guided, not-for-profit organization led by an international group of surgeons specialized in the treatment of trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. It was founded in 1958 by 13 visionary surgeons.

Today, the AO has a global network of over 200,000 health care professionals. Each year it offers over 830 educational events around the world, which are supported by nearly 9,000 faculty and are attended by over 58,000 participants. It has 20,000 surgeon members working in the fields of trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial (CMF), veterinary, and reconstructive surgery.  

Our mission is promoting excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.

Serving your clinical needs

Your clinical division serves your needs—AO has established specialty areas for trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial, and veterinary surgery. The AO Clinical Divisions continually redefine the state-of-the-art in their fields, maintaining activities in research, development, clinical investigation, and education.​​


AO Foundation Videos​




Key activities

The AO Foundation Institutes—research and development (ARI), clinical investigation and documentation (AOCID)education, and the AOTK System—deliver value-added products and services to its clinical divisions, surgical network and partners.

The focus of the AO Institutes is on producing new concepts for improved fracture care, delivering evidence-based decision making, guaranteeing rigorous concept and product approval as well as timely and comprehensive dissemination of knowledge and expertise.



AOTrauma creates a dynamic environ-ment fostering change through its state-of-the-art research and education and an interactive community, empowering the next generation of surgeons.


AOSpine is composed of surgeons, researchers, ORP, and health care professionals from all continents providing educational, research, consulting and networking opportunities.





AOCMF is a driving force in education and research using modern techniques  to achieve successful patient rehabilitation for a global community of surgeons.


AOVET's mission is to advance the practice of veterinary surgery to improve patient outcomes by promoting clinical and experimental research, education and development.