AO Technical Commission Experts Symposia

Where outstanding minds come together in a robust process to improve available treatments.

The Experts Symposia of the AO Technical Commission (AO TC) are well-established events to foster exchange among surgeons and representatives of our industrial partners with the overall goal to improve patient treatment. It is essential to review the clinical performance of implants, instruments, and the surgical techniques. Open and straightforward discussions are fundamental for identifying potential device improvements and refinements of surgical procedures. Consequently, the symposium format is fundamental in fulfilling the AO TC quality assurance mandate for newly developed devices when they become available for surgeons. The symposia have proven to be invaluable for defining the remaining unmet clinical need that is not yet addressed by existing solutions. This type of information is imperative to justify the initiation of new development projects, which makes the Experts Symposia highly appealing to our industrial partners. The information exchange at the symposia is strictly confidential.

The experiences over the past few years have reinforced the benefits of inviting experienced surgeons of all age groups to the symposia. While the more senior surgeons are familiar with the development history of implants and instruments as they became available, younger surgeons may be more apt to think out of the box. Since the initiation of the AO TC Experts Symposia in 2006 about 920 surgeons have participated and consequently, this AO TC network is rapidly expanding.


5th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (Latin America)


The 5th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (Latin America) in Argentina, chaired by Carlos Sancineto, was a great success. 33 participants from 14 countries attended.

The program was diverse and divided into five sessions. Each session was chaired by a member of the AO TC Trauma and supported by regional faculty. Various topical issues were discussed, such as infections in fractures, non-healing of fractures, and deformities.

The faculty encouraged interaction among participants and several case discussions were held. At the end of each session, important conclusions were drawn regarding remaining clinical needs in specific areas of infection and fracture fixation.

The 6th AO TC Experts Symposium (Latin America) will be held in May 2025.


15th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (Europe)


After a COVID-related break, the European Symposium took place outside of Germany for the first time. 57 surgeons from 21 countries attended the 15th European edition of the AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium on August 26–27, 2022. The event occurred in Oslo, Norway—the first time the symposium was hosted outside of Germany. Chaired by the Past-President of AO Trauma Germany, Michael Raschke, the program was divided into five sessions:

  • VA-LCP Clavicle Systems
  • VA Locking Patella Plating System
  • Periprosthetic Fracture Fixation of Femur
  • Proximal Tibia Fractures
  • Double Plating Femur

Each session consisted of an introduction to the subject by one of the faculty, followed by a case discussion using cases submitted by participants, and ended with a conclusion and clinical needs definition by the moderator.

Michael Kowaleski (veterinary) from North Grafton, Massachusetts, US, won the symposium's most interesting case presentation award for delivering a deformity case of a dog which underwent prior high tibial osteotomy (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy, TPLO).

The 16th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (Europe) will be held in late summer or fall 2024 in Florence, Italy, and it will be chaired again by M Raschke.


4th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (Latin America)


The 4th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (Latin America) was held on March 6–7, 2020, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was chaired by P Barbosa and was attended by Twenty-seven Latin American surgeons from 12 countries.

The symposium program covered the following topics:

  • Infection
  • Calcaneus fractures
  • Ankle
  • Proximal femur in Oestoporotic bone
  • Nonunion

In the session on proximal femoral fractures, the discussion was mainly about how augmentation in nail fixation can improve clinical results. P Barbosa shared his tips and tricks to facilitate reduction (see also the Meet the Experts Video here).

The winner of the contest for the most interesting case presentation was Emilio Fantin who shared a femoral nonunion case after intramedullary nailing, which he managed by increasing the stability at the nonunion site with an intracortical percutaneous compressive screw.

The 5th AO TC Experts Symposium (Latin America) will take place on May 19-20, 2023 in Bariloche, Argentina.


14th European AOTK Experts Symposium, Germany

The annual European AO TC Experts Symposium was held on October 11–12, 2019, in Berlin, Germany. The symposium was chaired by U Stöckle and M Raschke and was attended by 30 surgeons from 16 European countries.

The program was divided into four sessions:

  • Humeral shaft fractures
  • AO Technical Commission report on new structure and recent innovations
  • Complex tibia plateau fractures
  • Peri-implant infections

The special session on infection was chosen to emphasize the global need for better diagnostic methods and treatment algorithms for fracture-related infections, and was an opportunity to present the most recent achievements of the Anti-Infection Global Expert Committee.

Frank Beeres was honored for the most interesting case presentation of the symposium which was related to the treatment of a complex proximal tibia plateau fracture.

The 15th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (Europe) will take place on August 26-27, 2022 in Oslo, Norway and will be chaired by M Raschke.


6th US AOTK Experts Symposium, USA

Every 2 years there is a trauma-related AO TC Experts Symposium in the United States. The Symposium held on September 13-14, 2019, in San Francisco, was chaired by M Lee and was attended by 45 participants.

The symposium program consisted of five sessions:

Complex and atypical plateau fractures: do we need special implants or approaches?

Displaced and unstable femoral neck fractures: is there a length stable implant solution?

Distal femoral fixation: are there new solutions or needs?

Syndesmosis reduction and fixation: 'have we reached consensus?'

"My novel solution to a difficult problem / unusual new techniques or implants I am trying / implants that need improvement"

The session “My novel solution to a difficult problem / unusual new technique or implants I am trying / implants that need improvement” was an excellent opportunity for participants to present their innovative solutions for difficult clinical problems. Such an open forum fosters out-of-the box thinking across anatomical regions that could trigger new implant and instrument developments. The session on femoral neck fractures was an opportunity to analyze in clinical case discussions the performance of the Femoral Neck System from DePuy Synthes that was launched in 2017.

The case winner was Brett Crist (University of Missouri, Columbia, US) with his case about young femoral neck fractures.

The 7th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (North America) will be held in Bozeman, USA on September 23-24, 2023 and will be chaired by C Finkemeier.


13th Asia Pacific AOTK Experts Symposium, Malaysia

Chaired by MK Wong in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 28 March 2019, nine faculty from six countries in the Asia Pacific region and one from Switzerland led 34 participants from ten countries through the event.

During four lively sessions, 17 cases were discussed, and the

winning case presentation was given by Chen Xiadong, from Shanghai, China, in Session 3 – Treatment of Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head in Young Adults.

The AO Technical Commission invites the winner to take part in the next Lower Extremity Expert Group Meeting.

One participant, Toni San Juan from the Philippines, said "it was a great learning opportunity and a chance to catch up with old friends, and make new ones as well."

The one-day event featured a special session led by Theddy Slongo, who gave a presentation on MAXFRAME System Software. This session was warmly received, and drew more attendees than had originally signed up for the session.

“Surgery is not just about inserting implants, it's also about surgical techniques and finesse in fracture reduction, temporary fixation, and final fixation. This is where new and cutting-edge techniques are showcased, subjected to group discussion, and then adopted across continents" said Chair MK Wong.

The 14th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (Asia Pacific) will take place on April 5-6, 2024 in Seoul, South Korea and will be chaired by JK Oh.


3rd AO TC Spine Experts Symposium, Singapore

The 3rd AO TC Spine Experts Symposium was held in Singapore and led by AO TC Spine Chairperson Maarten Spruit. The symposia brought together 25 participants from 13 countries, and the event featured five diverse sessions:

  • Arthroplasty versus ACDF for Radiculopathy
  • Laminoplasty versus Laminectomy (+/- fusion) versus ACDF for Myelopathy
  • Upper Cervical Pathology Requiring Fusion: C1-2 or C0-2
  • Cervical Deformity: Anterior versus Posterior versus Combined
  • Robotics/Navigation/AR/VR: Gateway to Next Level Cervical Surgery and Results?

Each session consisted of an introduction of the subject by the faculty, followed by a case discussion using cases submitted by the participants, ending with a conclusion and clinical needs definition by the moderator.

This year's case winner was Torphong Bunmaprasert from Chiang Mai, Thailand, who presented a case about an acute traumatic lateral atlantoaxial dislocation associated with locked atlas lateral mass and odontoid process fracture.

The 4th AO TC Spine Experts Symposium  will take place on March 30-31, 2024 in Santiago de Chile. 


2nd Spine AOTK Experts Symposium, Netherlands

Chaired by M Spruit, the program (held in Amsterdam on September 20 and 21, 2019) was divided into five sessions:

  • Surgical site infection in spine surgery
  • Degenerative lumbar discs and back pain
  • Lumbar spine revision surgery
  • Lumbar stenosis and spondylolithesis
  • Instrumentation of the osteoporotic spine

Each session consisted of an introduction to the subject by one of the faculty, followed by a case discussion using cases submitted by participants, and ended with a conclusion and clinical needs definition by the moderator.

The case winner was Chung Chek Wong with his case about instrumentation of the osteoporotic spine.

The 3rd AO TC Spine Experts Symposium will take place on September 23-24, 2022 in Singapore and will be chaired by M Spruit.


1st Spine AOTK Experts Symposium, Canada

The 1st Spine AOTK Experts Symposium, a one-and-a-half-day event held in Montreal, Canada in 2018, was chaired by M Spruit, attracted ten faculty from seven countries and 22 participants from 11 different countries, and was divided into five sessions with a total of thirty case presentations

  • Upper Cervical Fractures
  • Cervical Deformity
  • Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
  • Anterior Deformity Correction
  • Early Onset Scoliosis

The winners of the case presentations were Qian Bangping from China for his case on cervical deformity and Moyo C Kruyt from the Netherlands for his case on early onset scoliosis.

During the discussions, participants and faculty uncovered some challenges for the AOTK and the industry, which the AOTK research community will work to address.

Building on the success of this event the second Spine AOTK Experts Symposium is being planned for fall, 2019 and it will be chaired by M Spruit.

AOTK thanks all attendees who made this first spine Experts Symposium a success.


1st CMF AOTK Experts Symposium, USA

The first AOTK CMF Experts Symposium was held on November 13–14, 2019, in Tampa, Florida, US. D Buchbinder chaired the symposium which was attended by 14 surgeons and 9 representatives from the industry.

The three symposium sessions focused on:

  • Patient specific orthognathic solutions
  • Patient specific solutions for orbit and midface reconstruction
  • Patient specific solutions for CMF reconstruction following ablative surgery

The participants exchanged their case experiences to discuss and to identify opportunities for improvement. Recent advances in digital planning and innovative approaches to design and to manufacture patient-specific surgical guides and implants allow that complex surgical procedures can be performed in a highly reproducible manner independent of the surgical experience. Although the costs that are currently associated with the use of patient-specific implants and cutting guides are high, there is a clear trend toward their increased use because of the high predictability and accuracy that can be achieved and the potential to reduce operating room time.

The case winner was Ruediger Zimmerer, with his case about bilateral TJR with counter-clockwise rotation in mandibular hypoplasia.

The 2nd AO TC CMF Experts Symposium will take place on October 13-14 in Copenhagen, Denmark and will be chaired by D Buchbinder.

“The AO ITC, like no other association, enforces the international dialogue amongst key opinion leaders in their field. It has been an exceptional experience being part of this community.”

Sebastian Baumbach, participant of the 15th AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium (Europe)

Challenging cases, clinical need, robust examination.

Since the first AO Technical Commission Experts Symposium was held in 2006, these events have come to be recognized as delivering a powerful impetus into the innovation development process.

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