Trauma in focus: AO Davos Courses 2022, week two

AO President Florian Gebhard opening week two of the AO Davos Courses

Week two of the AO Davos Courses 2022 commenced Sunday night, December 11, 2022, with AO President Florian Gebhard welcoming a crowd of newly arrived attendees for this year's second round of courses at the Davos Congress Centre. This week, a congregation of 621 participants and 217 faculty flocked to Davos to join 11 diverse AO Trauma courses, with 85 additional participants meeting remotely for 2 AO Spine Endoscopy courses. The AO Davos Courses is a global event; this year is no exception, with participants and faculty traveling from more than 70 countries to teach, learn, and experience the AO's flagship event.


The future is digital

As with week one of the AO Davos Courses 2022, the digital future of surgery—via cutting-edge tools and education—was the centerpiece of Gebhard's introduction. Gebhard arrived on stage wearing a pair of virtual-reality goggles and spoke about the promise of immersive virtual reality in surgical training and operating theaters, as seen at the AO regional courses in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this past year.

Side events centered on trauma

With this week's on-site courses' trauma focus, the side events on offer for AO Davos Courses participants and faculty are also centered on trauma. AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) Director Geoff Richards highlighted an AO research seminar on fracture-related infection and the AO Trauma Research Olympiad, both taking place later in the week, while introducing the AO's multidisciplinary translational research and development to those gathered.

Additional side events include the SHARD, RIMASYS' mobile operating theater, which features diverse live anatomical surgeries that attendees can observe, with trauma sessions on both upper and lower extremities that include a midshaft clavicle fracture, femoral neck, distal tibial fracture, and retrograde femoral nailing system. Throughout the courses, AO TV's online stream—accessible to all—will cover diverse topics with some of the world's top trauma surgeons in its series of on-site interviews.

On the heels of a week of engaging events from AO Access—the AO's initiative to encourage diversity, inclusion, and mentorship in the surgical community—AO Past President Robert McGuire presented on AO Access' new mentorship program. This week, McGuire will participate in a panel discussion titled "Mentorship in the mirror; moments that matter." A second AO Access event, "Myths and realities—AO Access/Women of Orthopedics (WOO) by DPS: Conversations creating change," takes place later this week on the AO Davos Courses night.

Please visit the side events page for a complete listing of happenings at the AO Davos Courses. 

New publication from AO Trauma

Before Gebhard returned to the stage, there was a final presentation on the publication of AO Trauma's Minimally Invasive Plate Osteosynthesis: Third Edition. The book's editors—AO Past President Suthorn Bavonratanavech, Prof Reto Babst, and Prof Chang-Wug Oh—shared this newly updated book with the crowd. With contributions from 68 expert surgeons from 14 countries, this title consolidates the knowledge and expertise on minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis gained after almost two decades of applying this concept of biological fixation, indirect reduction, and bridge plating.

Giving thanks

Gebhard closed the ceremony by thanking all who played a part in bringing the AO Davos Courses to life, from exhibitors to the local community. A representative for ARGO, a Davos-based foundation dedicated to the integration of people with disabilities in Kanton Graubünden, was welcomed on stage by Gebhard to receive a donation from the AO.

Coming together to share knowledge and break new ground in surgical education, research, and innovation is a tradition sparked with the first AO Davos Course more than 60 years ago. It's a tradition of congregating in person that the AO will continue long into surgery's digital future, all in service to improving patient outcomes.