AO Technical Commission
The AO Technical Commission is central to the AO landscape of developing and bringing innovations to market in four specialities: trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial, and veterinary surgery.
It plays a crucial role in product development and quality assurance, forming an essential link between the AO's clinical divisions, clinical units, other institutes, initiatives, and the AO's global network. Medical experts work together to identify existing clinical needs and to develop new devices and surgical techniques to address these in cooperation with industrial partners. Evidence creation is of high importance in this process to prove the benefit of new developments. The year 2021 witnesses the celebration of the AO Technical Commission's 60th Anniversary. Please visit our history timeline and watch our celebratory video highlighting core milestones.
60 years AO Technical Commission
Maurice Müller, a Swiss orthopedic surgeon, was instrumental in the development of internal fixation techniques to treat bone fractures. In 1958, Müller co-founded the Arbeitsgemeineshaft für Osteosynthesefragen and, inspired by the work of Belgian surgeon Robert Danis, Müller developed new tools and fixation implants for orthopedic surgery.
Hans Willenegger, Martin Allgöwer, Robert Schneider, and Walter Bandi, Maurice Müller advanced education and research in orthopedic surgery through the creation of the 'AO Cooperation Agreement' in 1959. Two years later, the five Founding Fathers established the AO Technische Kommission which has been referred to globally as the AOTK for many decades.
The AO Technical Commission recognizes outstanding achievements in development and innovation, which have a lasting impact on patient care and outcomes in fields central to the AO mission.
The AO Technical Commission is proud to announce the Cervical Expert Group as well-deserved winners of the 2021 Innovation Prize. Awarded for advancements in Posterior Cervical Fusion (PCF) and development of the Symphony Occipito-Cervico-Thoracic System, the prize acknowledges clinical innovation apparent in a solution that successfully addresses deformity correction, revision surgery and fixation in poor quality bone. Discussions about the need for such a system were initiated during a 2014 Cervical Expert Group meeting. After years of development Symphony was introduced in a teaching capacity during the 2019 Complex Cervical Course in Davos. The Cervical Expert Group is an international group of expert spine surgeons, and the AO Technical Commission congratulates them for their achievements in advancing the care of patients requiring fixation of the cervical spine.
Fourth FRI consensus meeting
The AO Technical Commission (AO TC) hosted a consensus meeting on October 11, 2022, on definitions for fracture-related infection (FRI) and nonunion. The event, which brought together global key opinion leaders, was conducted alongside the Orthopaedic Trauma Association’s 38th Annual Meeting in Tampa, United States.
Update from the SSDTF
Reliably monitoring physical function is tremendously valuable in returning orthopedic trauma patients to pre-injury activity levels. Noting the rise in the use of wearable technology, AO Technical Commission's Smart Digital Solutions Task Force (SDSTF) conducted a cross-sectional expert opinion survey asking AO Trauma members about their current and anticipated uses. The study, now published in a leading trauma journal, Injury, successfully demonstrated that wearable technology is an area of interest in the orthopedic trauma community.
Update from the OSSTF
Expert spine surgeons of the AO Technical Commission's Osteoporotic Spine Surgery Task Force and specialists in endocrinology and bone health developed White Papers which are based on literature review and expert opinion and give recommendations for osteoporotic spine surgery in three key focus areas.
AO Technical Commission Experts Symposia
The Experts Symposia of the AO Technical Commission (AO TC) are well-established events to foster exchange among surgeons and representatives of our industrial partners. It is essential to review the clinical performance of implants, instruments, and surgical techniques to identify potential improvements. This type of information is imperative to justify the initiation of new development projects. Newly developed implants and instruments may not be available or affordable in all countries. Thus, it is important to consider region-specific aspects in the symposia discussions. This is addressed by conducting the AO TC Experts Symposia in various parts of the world: Europe, Asia Pacific, United States, and Latin America.
Since the initiation of the AO TC Experts Symposia in 2006 about 920 surgeons have participated in these interactive events; consequently, this AO TC network is rapidly expanding.
AO Technical Commission Meet the Experts
The annual AO TC Meet the Experts event at the Davos Courses presents an opportunity for world renowned surgeons to present the latest innovative technology designed to treat fractures and musculoskeletal disorders across CMF, Spine, Trauma and Vet. As a result of disruption to both travel and face to face events in 2020, the AOTC was forced to consider an alternative approach to hosting the Meet the Experts event.
One offering included the preparation of a selection of videos showcasing the best innovations from the last 10 years. The following recordings (all available on the AO Approved Solutions section of the AOF website) were offered to participants of the Davos Courses during last year's digital event.
Technical Commission Meet the Experts.