AO Technical Commission Awards

AO Technical Commission Innovation Prize awarded to the Cervical Expert Group

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 (Fig 1). 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 (Fig 2). 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.


At the time of Symphony release, the CEEG members were: (Fig 3)

  • Frank Kandziora (Germany)—CEEG Chair
  • Rick Bransford (US)
  • Osmar JS Moraes (Brazil)
  • Chung Chek Wong (Malaysia)
  • Abdulrazzaq Alobaid (Kuwait)


Fig 1 Symphony Occipito-Cervico-Thoracic System.


Fig 2 Osmar Moraes delivers instructional tips for the use of Symphony during a dry bone laboratory in Davos, 2019.


Fig 3 CEEG members at the time of Symphony release. Left to right: Rick Bransford, Frank Kandziora, Lois Wallach (AO TC), Chung Chek Wong, Abdulrazzaq Alobaid, and Osmar Moraes.


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