Who we are

The AO is a medically-guided, not-for-profit organization, a global network of surgeons, and the world's leading education, innovation, and research organization specializing in the surgical treatment of trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.

The AO story: transforming surgery—changing lives

The AO began with a problem: how to improve patient outcomes in the treatment of trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. Today, this remains the priority for everyone at and involved with the AO. The AO covers different specialist areas, brought together into one global community, one network, one powerhouse of excellence focused on improving patient care.

The AO is the premier innovator in the surgical treatment of bone fractures and disorders. Innovation at the AO goes from bench to bedside, including basic research, product development, clinical validation, and valorization.

Our mission: promoting excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.

A diverse community of healthcare professionals with different areas of expertise, specialism, and interests, the AO offers you an unparalleled opportunity to improve your skills, share your experience, and build your network.

Our global community

Today the AO has a global community of over 385,000 health care professionals.

Each year the AO offers more than 830 educational events around the world, supported by nearly 9,000 faculty and attended by over 58,000 participants.

The AO has around 18,500 surgeon members working in the fields of trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial, veterinary, and reconstructive surgery.

Our impact


In the years since the AO has founded, the work that we have done has had a profound impact on surgery, surgeons, ORP, and, crucially, on patient outcomes.

This video interview with AO Past President Nikolaus Renner, recorded during the AO's flagship educational event, the AO Davos Courses, in 2019, explores this impact.




AO Annual Report 2020

This year’s report looks back at 2020—a year out of the ordinary—and the AO has plenty to be proud of. Check out the AO Annual Report 2020—available to read online or as a PDF for download—today.

Find your AO pathway

The AO is home to people from all over the world, from different backgrounds, with diverse talents and specialist areas. What binds us together is our passion for excellence, our dedication to our mission of improving patient care, and our understanding that we are stronger together: we are one AO.


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