AO Foundation

1947-11-01 00:00:00

AO origins

In the late 1940s, the biology of bone healing had not been scientifically investigated and knowledge was sparse.

1949-11-01 00:00:00

AO origins

The book 'Théorie et Pratique de l'Ostéosynthèse' by a Belgian surgeon, Robert Danis, published in 1949, attracted the attention of a young, innovative Swiss surgeon, Maurice E Müller.

1950-11-01 00:00:00

AO origins

Maurice E Müller visited Danis in March 1950 and gathered a small group of Swiss surgeons—Robert Schneider, Hans Willenegger, Martin Allgöwer, and Walter Bandi—who shared his interests in research in bone healing.

1958-11-06 00:00:00

AO Foundation established

On November 6, 1958 the AO Foundation was established at the Hotel Elite in Biel, by a group of Swiss surgeons—Maurice E Müller, Robert Schneider, Hans Willenegger, Martin Allgöwer (pictured 2nd from left), and Walter Bandi—who came together to champion revolutionary techniques of internal fixation that achieved unprecedented results in healing bone fractures.

1959-06-23 00:00:00

Laboratory of Experimental Surgery Davos established

The first undertaking of the AO founders—Maurice E Müller, Robert Schneider, Hans Willenegger, Martin Allgöwer, and Walter Bandi—was to find a suitable place to conduct research. Davos was selected as the location and the previous tuberculosis facility run by Alexander Spengler in Villa Fontana was identified as the ideal place for the newly established Laboratory for Experimental Surgery (LECD, Labor für experimentelle Chirurgie Davos). Allgöwer was its first director. Each of the AO founders made significant financial contributions towards the start-up costs for the AO's first research facility, known since June 1992 as the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI).

1959-11-01 00:00:00

AO Founders developed four pillars

The four pillars developed by Maurice E Müller, Robert Schneider, Hans Willenegger, Martin Allgöwer, and Walter Bandi were: 1. Development of implants and instruments 2. Research of fracture healing and tissue cultures 3. Documentation of all patients 4. Teaching of osteosynthesis techniques.

1960-12-10 00:00:00

The first AO Davos Courses

Led by the AO founders Maurice E Müller and Martin Allgöwer, 69 surgeons attended the first AO Davos Courses and learned new techniques in trauma surgery. The four-day course was organized by the AO Laboratory of Experimental Surgery (LECD, Labor für experimentelle Chirurgie Davos).

1961-11-01 00:00:00

AO Technical Commission established

The AO Foundation established the AO Technical Commission (AOTK System) as the institute responsible for the development and approval of innovative surgical techniques, implants, and instruments. The AOTK System is medically guided by independent surgeons who are responsible for the development and clinical testing of new devices. Today the AOTK System consists of the TK Executive Board (TKEB), Technical Commissions, and Expert Groups for trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial, and veterinary surgery.

1961-11-01 00:00:00

The second AO Davos Courses

Building upon the success of the first courses, the second annual AO Davos Courses had 102 participants, including the first American surgeons. The educational curriculum was expanded to include biomechanics of fractures.

1963-11-01 00:00:00

A revolutionary toolkit from the AO

This instrument box for compression plates as shown in the first AO manual from 1963 represents many of the medical advances developed by the AO. With the proper teaching, these standardized high-quality instruments and implants would allow surgeons around the world to replicate the success of the Swiss founders in treating fractures. At this time, AO equipment was technically superior to anything previously made, especially the Müller compression plate when compared with the Lane plate.

AO Foundation

Launch
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