A Formidable Partnership that Advances Orthopaedic Care in Significant Strides, Year after Year

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The AO Foundation (AO) and DePuy Synthes (DPS), through a vital collaboration brought to life sixty years ago, share a focused commitment to the central aims of improving standards of care and the lives of orthopaedic patients. The world of orthopaedics is changing and therefore, together, we need to continue leading the charge in the transformation of the orthopaedics space. That’s why the brightest and most experienced medical minds convene annually in Davos to support and learn from the joint pioneering and education efforts of the AO and DPS.

The Davos AO Courses represent the flagship annual event of the AO Foundation, securing the group’s leadership position as a preeminent provider of world-class research and education in orthopaedics and trauma care. Working side-by-side with AO, together, we are making a bigger difference in the world than either organization could make alone.

Check out this great video recapping the highlights of 10 amazing days in Davos!

A transformational learning experience

By meticulously collecting and disseminating medical insights through progressive education forums, AO helps the industry develop smart advancements focused on the surgical treatment of trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. In both discussion forums and hands-on education segments, AO develops and teaches both essential and ground-breaking surgical processes and skills.

“Leading clinical education that is focused on improving patient outcomes should be the number one thing we focus on. And we should have the best partner. And in our minds, the best partner is AO. There is no other organization like AO in the world and we are firmly committed to that goal together.”
- Aldo Denti, Company Group Chairman, DePuy Synthes Companies


As the main provider of the 30 tons of materials used in the 3,800 workshop sets at Davos, we’re proud of the fact that our products are chosen to play such an important role in the foundation of the learning process. We also feel honored that our products regularly achieve the highest standard of industry approval – certification from the AO Technical Commission. Our adherence to the highest surgical standards demonstrates our ongoing commitment to keeping quality an integral part of our company DNA.  

The pathway into the minds and hands of brilliant surgeons

The learning doesn’t start and stop at Davos. At this year’s AO Davos Courses 2019, 1,200 surgeon participants and 355 faculty members from 82 nations convened in a spirit of learning and collaboration, creating a hotbed of new ideas and helpful observations. Up to today, there have been more than 600,000 health care professionals from over 124 countries to have participated in AO courses.

Additionally, every year AO offers more than 830 educational events around the world that are supported by nearly 9,000 faculty members and attended by almost 60,000 participants. Through a sophisticated series of targeted learning opportunities, where our products are matched with learning initiatives spanning AO Trauma, AO Spine, AO Recon, AO CMF and AO Vet, the insights we gain can be directly applied to the product roadmaps in these areas.

The power of our combined network of surgeons, reflected within 1200+ clinical studies and published articles, grows year by year, study by study, and surgeon by surgeon. Our legacies of quality and safety are reinforced in part due to this trusted network built through AO studies conducted across 350 clinics in 45 countries. A network like this cannot be matched! And its value as a collective learning tool and innovation catalyst can simply not be underestimated.

A long and fruitful history of innovation

It’s staggering to look back and review all the advancements we’ve made together with the AO. For sixty years, the AO’s position as a leading innovator in the surgical treatment of bone fractures and disorders has complemented the enduring commitment of DePuy Synthes to co-create with the surgeons to deliver innovative solutions to today's healthcare challenges. In Innovations 2019, AO talks about the newest medical devices and techniques developed by AO Technical Commission surgeons in collaboration with the industry.

Innovation at the AO goes from “bench to bedside,” spanning fundamental research and innovation, the development of processes, standards and products, as well as the clinical validation of surgical solutions. Add to this track record of Johnson & Johnson’s 150-year R&D legacy, characterized by a rich history of innovation – a history of working with some of the greatest minds in healthcare and of making a difference in the lives of tens of millions of patients – and you have a great springboard for continuous clinical innovation.  

The fast trajectory into digital surgery

DePuy Synthes offers one of the world’s most comprehensive portfolios of orthopaedic products and services. On top of product and technology innovations, digital represents the next frontier of evolution in our industry. Decades and decades of experience and advancements have led our two organizations to today’s exciting and promising era of digital transformation.

“If I were to say, ‘Well, the next 60 years look the same as the past sixty years,’ the answer is that they won’t be, and they cannot be the same, because the world is changing.  We believe that only together can we evolve towards a new future of digital surgery.”

 – Christoph Lindenmeyer, CEO and Vice-Chairman of AO Foundation

The future of healthcare will reach new levels in 2020 and beyond through the combination of world-class surgical education and exciting digital developments. New advancements such as digitally-supported workflow enhancements have been made possible by the DePuy Synthes Surgical Process Institute (SPI). Other cutting-edge technologies like navigation and 3D printing of customized implants will also continue to catapult us into the future.

Some final tributes to AO Davos Courses 2019

It was our honor to participate in the industry’s latest era of clinical collaboration and our team looks forward to assimilating and incorporating the insights gleaned from so many orthopaedic experts from around the world into our upcoming products and technologies.

Thank you, Davos, and thank you to both our new and longstanding surgeon friends for this wonderful experience of idea sharing and camaraderie. Already looking forward to next year – and to all the input and learning opportunities in between!

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