AO Technical Commission Meet the Experts

Excellence in innovation on display.

This popular format offers the opportunity to learn about the AO Technical Commission's most recently approved medical devices and to explore hot topics in trauma and orthopedic surgery. The sessions showcase clinical benefits of innovative devices and surgical techniques which are so new that they have not yet been included in AO course programs.

In an engaging series of stage shows featuring practical demonstrations, expert surgeons who are directly involved in the development of new implants and instruments present clinical cases and explain the benefits of new solutions for patient care. The sessions are streamed live and available thereafter on our website.

Meet the Experts 2021

 Offering the opportunity to learn about the latest innovations and explore current topics in orthopedic surgery.

Innovations in retrograde femoral nailing - Retrograde Femoral Nail Advanced

Retrograde nailing of native and periprosthetic distal femoral fractures can be challenging due to limited implant anchorage in far distal femur fractures and in presence of prostheses. Insufficient implant fixation may result in complications requiring revision surgery. The new RFN-Advanced (RFN-A) Retrograde Femoral Nailing System was developed to address this issue. It offers an anatomically shaped 6-hole plate (the locking attachment washer) which can be placed at the lateral femoral epicondyle to connect it to the retrograde nail in an angular stable manner. The enhanced fixation options of the RFN-A (including also a nut and washer system for interlocking screws) are intended to expand the retrograde nailing indications and to support early patient mobilization. In this Meet the Experts video, Karl Stoffel and Martin Hessmann present the clinical benefits of this innovative nailing system and demonstrate its use in a bone model.

Innovations in nailing of tibial fractures - Tibia Nail Advanced

Intramedullary nailing is becoming increasingly popular for proximal and especially distal tibial fracture fixation. However, expanding the nailing indications toward metaphyseal tibial fractures results in the challenge to fix short bone fragments with adequate stability. The new TN-Advanced (TN-A) Tibial Nailing System was specifically designed to address this issue. The new nail has preassembled inlays in the proximal and distal parts of the nail to provide angular stability when interlocking screws are inserted. Furthermore, the new nail system provides instruments for the infrapatellar, intraarticular suprapatellar, and extraarticular parapatellar approaches. The suprapatellar instrumentation features a compressible suprapatellar sleeve that is designed to reduce the pressure on the patellofemoral joint. In this Meet the Experts video, Karl Stoffel and Martin Hessmann explain the advantages of this innovative nailing system and show the instruments for the suprapatellar approach in a bone model.


Meet the Experts 2020

 Delivering expert's knowledge across the world despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New 3.5 LCP plate for distal femoral fractures and osteotomies in medium and large dogs

Patellar luxation is a common cause of pelvic limb lameness in dogs. Although patella luxation can occur because of trauma, most canine cases of patellar luxation occur because of abnormal femoral and tibial modeling during skeletal development. Michael Kowaleski and Erik Asimus, from the AO Technical Commission Small Animal Expert Group, present the newly developed pre-contoured locking plate. This plate has been designed to accommodate the femoral procurvatum and addresses the condylar morphology. Additionally, The trajectories of the three distal locking screws were designed to avoid the intercondylar notch, maximize screw purchase in the caudal portion of the femoral condyle, while also avoiding cranial screw placement so as to preserve bone for concurrent sulcoplasty.

Meet the Experts 2019

 Wherever you are in the world, whatever your field of interest, Meet the Experts has something for you.

RIA 2 System: The Next Generation Reamer-Irrigator-Aspirator

RIA 2 is the next generation Reamer Irrigator Aspirator system which allows efficient clearing of the intramedullary cavity of debris and harvesting of autograft (find detailed information here). Furthermore, it offers fewer complications during reaming compared with iliac crest bone graft harvesting, efficient management of infection, reduced procedure time, and improved patient outcomes. Two trauma surgeons, Brent Norris and Martijn Poeze, introduced the new and improved features of RIA 2 including an overview of the device technology, indications for use and case examples. The lively and interactive session included a hands-on demonstration of device assembly and femoral reaming. The surgeons shared their considerable expertise and experience with this technology to offer tips and tricks for effective use of the RIA 2 system. These tips encompassed reaming entry points, measurement of the intramedullary canal, optimal reaming technique for bone harvesting, and the avoidance of potential technical challenges.

Planning and Performing Maxillo-Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis

Complex congenital as well as acquired deformities in the mandible, the midface or cranium might require gradual correction with distraction osteogenesis. The treatment must be performed such that not only new bone can be formed and finally shaped for better fit, but also surrounding soft tissue can grow during the distraction procedure. CMF distractors are used for patients from the first days of live to almost every age depending on the clinical situation. Callus distraction and final shaping along a guiding fixation allows the correction of very complex deformities and filling of voluminous voids in bone structures. Virtual planning of the distraction vector for callus formation or bone transport as well as the fixation of the distractor and the final reconstruction are nowadays state of the art. Digital planning and simulation may even replace complex calculations, and the production of 3D bone models allow for the visualization and construct planning/testing. Alberto Rocha Pereira presented exemplary cases and emphasized the wide variety of applications of CMF distraction in the mandible and midface area to solve very different clinical problems to improve patient's lives.

Application of the LCP Distal Femur Plate in Comminuted Fractures of the Proximal Phalanx in Horses

Comminuted fractures of the proximal phalanx are common injuries in horses and even though the prognosis for survival is guarded and complications are common, the currently recommended treatment is to immobilize the distal limb in a transfixation cast. Christoph Lischer, Fabrice Rossignol and Jeffrey Watkins from the AO Technical Commission Large Animal Expert Group presented the biological bridge plating using the human LCP Distal Femur Plate which can provide a better alternative with fewer complications and better long-term outcomes. The plate is pre-contoured, low profile, and features combi holes along the shaft and threaded locking holes in the plate head. The left and right version of the human 9- and 11-hole plate has recently been approved for veterinary application, specifically for comminuted P1 fractures in horses. During the highly informative session, the three experts outlined the underlying principle, provided detailed information about surgical steps and exemplified those in a practical demonstration on a bone model. Rossignol, the driving force behind this newly developed technique, underlined the necessary post-operative management including casting, adequate trimming and shoeing in order to improve patient outcomes. More information and clinical cases can be found here.

Patient Specific Procedures in CMF - State of the Art

Patient specific implants (PSIs) and cutting guides are widely used in orthognathic procedures, in orbital and midface trauma, and post-ablative reconstruction of the craniomaxillofacial skeleton. PSIs are available as 3D printed titanium, milled titanium or reinforced PEEK devices depending on application and surgeon preference. Daniel Buchbinder and Damir Matic, key opinion leaders and members of the AO Technical Commission Craniomaxillofacial (AO TC CMF), presented this innovative technique along with comprehensive workflows developed in the AO TC CMF.
The combination of 3D printed implants and 3D printed cutting guides has revolutionized planning and execution of these procedures resulting in improved efficiency in the operating room and more predictable outcomes. The workflow includes 3D imaging, image analysis and segmentation, virtual osteotomy planning, virtual positioning of the bone segments to the desired alignment and occlusion, planning of patient specific implants in the planned position to fix the fragments with predictive screw hole location, planning of the cutting and predictive screw hole drill guides, production of the patient specific implants and guides and finally the execution of the fully guided procedure in the operating room. A number of peer reviewed publications have reported minimal deviations between the planned procedure and the surgical result if the surgical plan is strictly followed. Cutting guides are also produced for the donor site in reconstructive cases following ablative surgery to aid in the harvest and contouring of the bone flap following the virtual reconstructive plan. In addition, the guide also incorporates predictive holes for the fixation of the bone flap to the patient specific milled or 3D printed reconstruction plate. Finally, virtual planning can also be used to determine the ideal location for the placement of endosseous titanium fixtures which will be used to anchor a dental prosthesis, ensuring good functional outcomes for these patients.

Elastic Nailing for Children's Fractures: How to Avoid Complications

Elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN) has become the method of choice for internal fixation of long bones in children and teenagers aged 4–14 years. However, ESIN treatment can also lead to complications like loss of reduction following push-out of the nails at the entry site, especially in unstable femoral shaft fractures. Nail migration with subsequent soft-tissue and skin irritation has been reported to be as high as 5–12%. In this Meet the Experts session, Unni Narayanan and Theddy Slongo, from the AO TC Pediatric Expert Group, presented in a hands-on session the best practices with ESIN to avoid complications in pediatric fracture treatment. Slongo explained the basic biomechanical principles of ESIN to provide stability: symmetrical bracing and 3-point contact. The two presenters shared femoral, tibial and forearm fracture cases with recommendations for preoperative planning as well as for correct insertion and positioning of ESIN.

Minimal Invasive Rib Stabilization

Chest wall trauma with multiple rib fractures and flail chest are injuries with mortality rates as high as 20% and major complication rates of up to 40%. The number of surgical procedures for rib fracture stabilization has increased as dedicated implants and instruments became available. The development of improved tools has led surgeons to perform rib fracture fixation through smaller incisions. Innovative surgical techniques make this type of surgery available to an increasing number of patients. Stefan Schulz-Drost and Mario Gasparri, two leading experts in thoracic surgery, provided an insight into minimally invasive rib stabilization using the MatrixRIB Fixation System (for rib and sternum fractures) and the recently developed self-drilling screws. Schulz-Drost provided a comprehensive overview about the different surgical procedures available for the median, lateral, and posterior chest wall regions. A hands-on demonstration led the audience through a minimal invasive procedure for sternal fracture fixation.

Fracture-related Infection: New Consensus on Diagnosis and Treatment

Fracture-related infection (FRI) remains a challenging complication and is a heavy burden for orthopedic trauma patients, their families and treating physicians, and for the healthcare systems. Standardization of the diagnosis and treatment of FRI has been lacking, which has made it difficult for researchers to perform and compare studies in this field. In this Meet the Experts session, key opinion leaders in FRI, Willem Metsemakers and Bill Obremskey, presented the recently published consensus recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of FRI. Developed by an international group of recognized experts in FRI, the evidence-based recommendations encompass confirmatory and indicative features for the diagnosis of FRI; general treatment principles comprise risk stratification, patient optimization and a multidisciplinary team approach; surgical management and antimicrobial treatment.
The primary aim of the international consensus group is to improve patient outcome of FRI by disseminating these recommendations to the global community of healthcare providers and promoting the standardization of treatment principles and outcome measures. In the longer term, this standardization will also improve the comparability of future studies and trials. Further information is provided in the article ' Fracture-Related Infection: New Consensus on Diagnosis and Treatment' in this Innovations magazine.

AO Recon - Introduction to AO Recon Complex Exercises

This webcast offers an insight into the brand new AO Recon dry bone practical exercises developed in 2019 to enhance the AO Recon Complex course on Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty. Our experts in the field discuss the development of the exercises and demonstrate some of the models at the AO Davos Courses 2019. The last part of the webinar includes time for in-depth questions and answers.


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