Driving spine research, discovery, and innovation to promote excellence in patient care and outcomes.

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AO Spine Knowledge Forums

The AO Spine Knowledge Forums are five expert-driven working groups generating knowledge in the spine pathologies of tumor, deformity, spinal cord injury (SCI), trauma and infection, as well as degenerative disease. They conduct evidence-based research and the results are published and disseminated in the most influential journals and at conferences all over the world. Their output ensures that AO Spine remains the leading innovator of spine care worldwide.

Our research approach

Preclinical research

AO Spine performs preclinical research in collaboration with the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI). Focus is on intervertebral disc and postoperative spinal infections.

Clinical research

AO Spine Knowledge Forums identify knowledge gaps, assess best practices, formulate evidence-based studies, develop classifications, and more.

Research training

AO trains surgeons to become researchers, and to integrate research into their daily work with the AO Program for Education and Excellence in Research (AO PEER) and mentorship programs.

Latest research outcomes and clinical tools


Injury classification systems

Download AO Spine Classification System toolkits and watch the instructional videos: thoracolumbar, sacral, subaxial, and upper cervical.



Learn more about this validated reliable outcome tool for spine oncology patients by AO Spine Knowledge Forum Tumor.


Treatment guidelines

Discover the AO Spine Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy and Traumatic SCI.

How to get involved

Participating in AO Spine fellowship and mentorship programs will allow you to work side-by-side with world renowned spine surgeons and researchers, and learn how to integrate research into your daily work.

If you are an AO Spine member and have opted in to receiving AO Spine emails, you will get information on open calls to participate in AO Spine Knowledge Forum studies.

AO Spine members share experiences on how they got involved, and tips how to steer your career towards research.

You might also be interested in

Research surveys

Explore regional and international research surveys from the AO Spine community, for the community

Video lectures by AO Spine Knowledge Forum Tumor

The latest in spine oncology

Global Spine Journal

AO Spine’s official scientific journal, fully open access, covering all areas of spine surgery.

What is unique about AO Spine research?

“AO Spine research combines knowledge and experience from all over the world. It creates actionable and additional value for every spine surgeon.”

Klaus Schnake, Chair-elect, AO Spine Research Commission