Take the challenge: AO Trauma’s new fracture challenge courses simulating real-life OR situations

Orthopedic trauma surgeons have a chance to take their fracture management skills to the next level this fall, when AO Trauma debuts its much anticipated and one-of-a-kind fracture challenge courses simulating real-life operating room (OR) situations. Across a range of fracture management topics—wrist, distal femoral, and scapular—the first three courses represent another step forward for the AO in its mission to promote excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.

Taking place in September and November 2021 in Cologne, Germany, Lucerne, Switzerland, and Madrid, Spain, these courses feature AO Trauma master surgeons using specimens with prefractured bone to simulate demanding and complex fractures.

The challenge courses are designed to provide orthopedic trauma surgeons with a virtually complete OR simulation, says AO Trauma Europe and Southern Africa Education Committee Chairperson Reto Babst, a chairperson for all three courses.

“Prefractured anatomical specimens allow us to simulate reality as closely as possible, since participants will have to plan the treatment with the same imaging modalities at hand in the hospital,” Babst explains. “Participants will perform surgery according to plan using the same approaches and encountering the same anatomical conditions as in reality, except for blood flow. Each participant will reduce the fracture, maintain the reduction, and fix the fracture, documenting each step, just as in real life.”

Real-life surgery simulation

In preoperative lab sessions, each three-person group of participants will receive a prefractured specimen along with identical X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, 3D computed tomography (CT) scans, and time to devise a preoperative plan. Each group will then take its plans into the simulated OR to treat the case according to plan. Each step of the process is to be documented with the help of C-arm fluoroscopic imaging and, at the end of the wet lab session, each group will present its case, using the fluoroscopic images and the fixed prefractured specimen.

A unique chance to learn from masters

“The participant gets hand-on simulation training by performing real surgery in a real, challenging fracture situation,” says Babst. “With support from master surgeons, participants will be able to learn or repeat rarely encountered situations. In addition, they will discuss in small groups the results achieved, as well as complex surgeries performed by faculty.”

That approach enhances the AO educational framework by introducing prefractured specimens and allows lectures to be reduced to approaches and tactics, with expert faculty providing practical feedback that can immediately be applied to the fractured specimen.

“The documented steps of reduction and temporary fixation can be shown to the whole group of participants, and both difficulties encountered and their solutions can be discussed in the group,” Babst says. “Instead of having sequential instruction with different modules like lectures, discussions, and practical exercises with bone models and anatomy, participants can operate on cases as they would in reality, encountering all of the challenges of a complex fracture situation, with the same soft tissue envelope and the same view through the selected approach and the C-arm view.”

Choose your challenge and register today:

September 9–10, 2021 | Cologne, Germany

AO Trauma Course—Fracture Challenge: How Masters Manage Wrist Fractures

Chairpersons: Matej Kastelec (Slovenia), Daniel Rikli (Switzerland), and Reto Babst (Switzerland)

Register now

September 23–24, 2021 | Lucerne, Switzerland

AO Trauma Course—Fracture Challenge: How Masters Manage Distal Femoral Fractures

Chairpersons: Karl Stoffel (Switzerland) and Reto Babst (Switzerland)

Register now

November 4–5, 2021 | Madrid, Spain

AO Trauma Course—Fracture Challenge: How Masters Manage Scapular Fractures

Chairpersons: Peter Cole (United States) and Reto Babst (Switzerland)

Register now