Welcome to the Latest Innovations

November 2021

Welcome to the 2021 edition of the AO ITC Innovations magazinewhich brings you the latest innnovations from across the AO ITC (AO Technical CommissionClinical Evidence, and Technology Transfer) in collaboration with the AO Research Institute and AO Education Institute. The AO TC is proud to announce the launch of 12 new products across TraumaSpinecraniomaxillofacial, and Veterinary. Despite a further year of restricted travel and face-to-face engagement since the release of our last magazine in December 2020, the digitization of meetings and anatomy laboratories has enabled us to proceed with product innovation at an impressive rate.


The increased productivity demonstrated by the AO Technical Commission throughout this turbulent time has been noticeably driven by Daniel Buchbinder who, up until June 2021 chaired the Technical Commission Executive Board (TCEB). In this edition of the Innovations magazine, we thank Dr Buchbinder for his commitment to the role and acknowledge his influence in the formation of the Innovation Translation Center. Subsequently, we welcome Maarten Spruit as the new Chair of the TCEB and support his mission to position the TC at the heart of the ITC driving technology innovation and serving the needs of Trauma (including Veterinary, Craniomaxillofacial, and Spine surgeons.


The AO TC Trauma, chaired by Michael Raschke, approved a record number of eight new products, a marked increase compared to 2020. In our lead article, we introduce the Patella Plate, a combined effort in innovation from the Lower Extremity Expert Group and Patella Task Force. Due to the potentially disabling consequence of inadequate treatment and despite the relatively low incidence rate of patella fractures, medical members from both groups recognized the need for a better fixation solution in this anatomical area. Following the identification of five main criteria necessary for optimal patella fracture fixation including the preservation of blood supply and low implant prominence, two new plating solutions were developed. We hope you enjoy reading about the in detail about the 2.7 mm VA Anterior Patella Plates and the 2.4/2.7 VA Lateral Rim Patella Plates.


Retaining a focus on trauma and following several years in development, the Upper Extremity Global Expert Committee is pleased to introduce the Variable Angle Clavicle and Variable Angle Clavicle Hook Plate 2.7 Systems. While launched independently of each other, these systems demonstrate a significant breakthrough in the treatment of both isolated clavicle fractures and those associated with a ligamentous disruption. Dedicated plate shapes possess an enhanced fit and accommodate the bow and curvature of the clavicle at corresponding fracture locations; a design feature which truly represents the next generation of clavicle plating.


Within the world of Spine, the Cervical Spine Expert Group (CEEG) brings you Symphony Compartment 2. The Symphony Occipito-Cervico-Thoracic System aims to reduce the complexity of Posterior Cervical Fusion procedures and improve patient outcomes in a solution containing both Foundational (Compartment 1) and Enhancement (Compartment 2) elements. Comprising navigated instrumentation and a more sophisticated range of screws and rods, Symphony represents true innovation while successfully retaining the best features of Mountaineer and Synapse. The CEEG has recently been awarded the AO ITC Innovation Prize for their efforts with Symphony which you can read more about here.


Updates from other areas of the AO ITC include exciting news from Technology Transfer as they continue to drive the development and valorization of innovative solutions in the advancement of patient care. Biphasic plating is a concept conceived by the AO Research Institute, Queensland University of Technology and 41Medical. The Biphasic Plate for Distal Femur obtained CE certification as a class IIB medical device in April this year; a significant achievement by all involved and one to be celebrated in this edition of the Innovations magazine.


Technology Transfer also introduces OSapp; an interactive virtual osteosynthesis software and learning tool which has been created through a collaboration between the AO Research Institute and Chair of the UEGEG, Simon Lambert. The project was started in July 2020 and aims to solidify the learner's understanding of biomechanical concepts underlying the principles of fracture fixation.


As an appropriate accompaniment to our lead article, the AO Research Institute (ARI) provides a detailed account of the Patella Plate Biomechanical Study which makes for an interesting read. It is evident that ARI is working extremely hard in the pursuit of evidence-based medicine and better patient outcomes following complex procedures as we delve into their articles on proximal humeral fractures, fatigue analysis in pancarpal plate arthrodesis, and fixation strength of re-orientation pelvic osteotomy. We congratulate them on their vision and scientific approach to medicine.


Clinical Science supports innovation translation at the AO with clinical evidence grounded in sound scientific methodology. In close collaboration with other AO ITC business units, Clinical Science is part of an efficient pathway to transform ideas into published clinical evidence. In June this year, Dr Michael Fehlings chaired the first meeting of the AO ITC Clinical Science Advisory Commission (CSAC) and we are excited to update you about the work of the group, its members and their future visions for clinical research in an information packed interview between Fehlings and the group's spine representative, Dr Philip Louie.


Finally, we celebrate a new collaboration between the AO Foundation and the Rimasys Group; a technology-driven health-tech start-up founded in 2016. The strategic partnership will be driven by a focus on enhancing surgical education and improving patient outcomes by advancing practical skill training through digital health, Artificial Intelligence, and virtual reality.


With all of this and more, the 2021 edition of the AO ITC Innovations magazine promises to be an informative issue. We hope that you enjoy it and welcome your feedback and involvement.

Yours sincerely,

Maarten Spruit

Chair AO Technical Commission Executive Board

Michael Fehlings

Chair AO ITC Clinical Science Advisory Commission

Michael Schütz

Chair AO Technology Transfer Board

Tim Pohlemann

Member AO Foundation Board MedTech Development