About the AO

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.

Today we have a global network of over 520,000 health care professionals. Each year we offer over 870 educational events around the world, supported by nearly 8,000 faculty and attended by over 82,000 participants. We have around 20,000 surgeon members working in the fields of trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial, veterinary, and reconstructive surgery.

Introducing the AO

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

Organizational structure and governance

The AO is structure reflects those areas in which it is active. The AO's institutes, clinical divisions, clinical unit, and initiatives conduct research, development, education, clinical investigation and approval of new devices or methods. Management boards support, supervise, and ensure the AO's diverse activities are carried out efficiently and effectively.

Assembly of Trustees

The Assembly of Trustees is the "AO parliament”

AO Foundation Board

Find out more about the AO Foundation Board, the AO's governing body.

AO Presidents

See who has served as AO Foundation president from its establishment in 1984 to the present.

AO Executive Committee

The AO Executive Committee reports directly to the AO Foundation Board, and includes the CEO, CFO/COO and executive directors representing key areas of AO activity.

AO Annual Report 2022

Learn how the AO emerged this past year with more agility, tools, and resources that enhanced our approach to education, research, and innovation.

Ethics and Compliance Committee

The AO's independent Ethics and Compliance Committee supervises ethics and compliance matters at the AO, and reports directly to the President, the AO Foundation Board, and the Trustees.

Corporate social responsibility

The AO is proud to be a good corporate citizen in all geographies where it has a presence. From energy-saving initiatives at its headquarters in Davos (Switzerland), to projects in Malawi and India, and targeted initiatives in key locations across the world, the AO remains driven by its founders' passion for improving lives.

The AO's greatest CSR contribution is its continuing support for the AO Alliance Foundation, a developmental non-profit organization dedicated to improving fracture care in low and middle income countries.

Carbon compensation is the second biggest CSR activity at the AO. Since 2013, the AO has voluntarily offset part of its carbon footprint, and energy saving at the AO Center in Davos has been underway since 2007, achieving significant reductions.

The AO believes in good citizenship locally, as well as globally, and is proud to support HCD with comprehensive sports medical care for HCD juniors, and also to support ARGO, a foundation with commercial workshops and residential homes for adults with disabilities in Davos.

Our surgeon faculty and board members are able to donate a percentage of their per diems to support the AO's CSR activities.

AO regions

As the AO's activities grew and diversified, defined AO regions were established in order to provide more localized support. There are five AO Regions: Asia Pacific, Europe and Southern Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Northern Africa, and North America.

These regional departments, supported by specialist staff in Switzerland, help make the AO more relevant in their geographies.


Scroll through this timeline to learn more about some of the most important milestones in the AO's history.

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