AO Technical Commission Innovation Award

2018 winner of the AO Technical Commission Innovation Prize
AO Technical Commission Innovation Award
Daniel Buchbinder (left), recipient of the AO Technical Commission Innovation Prize in 2016, presents the 2018 award certificate to Karl Stoffel (right) 

The AO Technical Commission announces that the 2018 winner of the AO Technical Commission Innovation Prize is Karl Stoffel, MD, PhD, Deputy Head of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology at the Cantonal Hospital Basel-Landschaft.

The AO Technical Commission Executive Board awards individuals or groups with this prestigious AO Technical Commission prize in recognition for their leading involvement and innovative contributions to projects.

Daniel Buchbinder (AO Technical Commission Executive Board Chairman) presented the certificate to Stoffel in an awards ceremony at the AO Technical Commission Chairman's Meeting, which was held alongside the AO Foundation Trustees Meeting in Basel. Stoffel was selected due to his outstanding contributions to the following two projects.

Stoffel, who has been a medical member of the Lower Extremity Expert Group (LEEG) since 2012, supervised and guided the development of the Femoral Neck System (see also Innovation Magazine 2017). This implant is a fixed-angle gliding fixation device which allows minimally invasive fixation of femoral neck fractures.

Stoffel's innovative ideas influenced the design of the implant and instrument set, as well as the surgical technique that allows the surgery to be performed in a highly efficient way. During product development on this, Stoffel supervised a biomechanical study at the AO Research Institute to analyze the stability of the Femoral Neck System as compared to traditional fixation methods (DHS screw, DHS blade, three cannulated screws). The study details and results which underline the potential of the new implant can be found here.

The Femoral Neck System was released to the market in 2017, and Stoffel performed the first surgery worldwide. AO Clinical Investigation and Documentation (AOCID) and the AO Technical Commission have together initiated a Focus Registry Study with Stoffel as the principal coordinating investigator, to analyze the clinical performance of the implant system. This study is part of AO Technical Commission's evidence generation strategy to prove the benefit of new developments.

Realizing the growing significance of periprosthetic fracture management, the AO Technical Commission formed a Periprosthetic Fracture Taskforce (PFTF), which Stoffel chairs. The PFTF's mandate was to develop new solutions for periprosthetic fracture fixation of the femur. Three parallel development projects were initiated in collaboration with DePuySynthes as industrial partner.

One of the projects, a new modular plating system, heavily relied on Stoffel's design input and expertise. This system has the potential to set the new standard for plating of periprosthetic femur fractures. Under Stoffel's chairmanship, the PFTF successfully achieved its goal of driving individual projects forward to final design. The LEEG is now responsible for the modular plating system until product launch.

Everyone at the AO Technical Commission  congratulates Stoffel on his achievements and looks forward to continuing this fruitful collaboration with him as part of our shared goal of further advancing patient care.