The Orthopaedic Video Theater ( has more than 200 peer-reviewed videos available for viewing.


Published 10/1/2012

Now Playing Near You: Orthopaedic Video Theater

An interview with Kevin D. Plancher, MD

Orthopaedic surgeons love movies—not necessarily the Star Wars or Casablanca genres, but certainly the Arthroscopic Management of Femoroacetabular Impingement or Stay Out of Trouble in Elbow Surgery varieties. Each year at the AAOS Annual Meeting, orthopaedic surgeons from around the world take a break to watch surgical videos.

Recently, AAOS Now talked with Kevin D. Plancher, MD, chair of the AAOS Multimedia Education Subcommittee, about the Orthopaedic Video Theater, an online viewing center ( with more than 200 orthopaedic videos. Although the Internet has made it easy for anyone to make and post a surgical video, Dr. Plancher believes that the Orthopaedic Video Theater is the premier site for orthopaedic videos.

AAOS Now: What makes the online AAOS Orthopaedic Video Theater different?

Dr. Plancher: This is a video publication site, not a video posting site. It doesn’t allow just anyone with a smart phone and an Internet connection to put up a video. Each video is submitted to the Academy and is subject to a formal peer review process for surgical content and technical presentation. This year 120 video program abstracts were submitted. We accepted—and will publish—50.

Video authors know that publication on this AAOS platform has significance. It’s more prestigious; it legitimizes their program. They can list publication on their curriculum vitae; the video program has an International Standard Book Number, too.

The Orthopaedic Video Theater is the online twin of the AAOS Annual Meeting video theater. It extends the Annual Meeting experience throughout the year. The 50 videos accepted for viewing at the 2013 Annual Meeting will be published online so they can be viewed and referenced throughout the year.

AAOS Now: Is the Orthopaedic Video Theater the only video site that formally peer reviews all content? What difference does peer review make?

Dr. Plancher: It’s the Consumer Reports of surgical video. The committee has structured a rigorous process for receiving video submissions, reviewing each submission, listening carefully to the narration, and ensuring that the videos meet Academy and patient safety standards. That process ensures that each video presents the surgical indications, anatomy, treatment, techniques, and outcomes that are appropriate for the circumstances presented and that we, as orthopaedic surgeons, can learn.

Very often, the author is asked to include outcomes information, remove a section that has a commercial tone, or redo a voiceover to clarify a technical detail. The technical aspects must be outstanding—sharp video and clear voiceovers. Until every issue is addressed, a program won’t be accepted. Other video posting sites may not meet these standards.

The peer review also ensures that the surgical techniques and procedures are current and the use of devices is consistent with Food and Drug Administration approvals. Once a video is outdated, it’s removed. If it shows a technique that’s no longer being performed or has been brought into question, the video comes down. Committee members are charged with monitoring the videos throughout the year.

Without peer review, we—as orthopaedic surgeons—place ourselves at risk by potentially performing some procedures that don’t work as well as others. We expect peer review in our journals and CME programs; why don’t we expect it in the videos that we view?

AAOS Now: Is the site geared for generalists or specialists?

Dr. Plancher: Of all the AAOS members who purchased individual video programs in 2011, 31 percent were self-described specialists; 38 percent were general orthopaedic surgeons with a specialty interest, and 22 percent were generalists. The content on Orthopaedic Video Theater reflects that same breadth of topics and depth of content. But there’s more of it. Nearly 200 videos are on the site now, with about 50 added annually—and they’re all included in the $199 annual subscription.

AAOS Now: Why isn’t it free?

Dr. Plancher: We’re not paying for the product itself, we’re paying for the fact that it is backed by successful experience and reviewed and published by the Academy. Orthopaedic surgeons used to spend $50 for one of these programs on DVD. Now we have access to 200 high quality programs for less than $1 each. It’s cheaper than a song on iTunes. The value is incredible. All the programs “published” at Orthopaedic Video Theater are optimized for tablet PCs and smart phone devices so they are completely portable.

AAOS Now: When an orthopaedic surgeon needs a refresher on a procedure, why shouldn’t he or she just “google it”?

Dr. Plancher: If I go to a search engine looking for a video on SLAP lesions, I have to scroll my way through all the results and try to determine which source offers what I need. And I have to establish some criteria to determine the credibility of the content. I could end up wasting time watching three or four mediocre videos that don’t give me what I need.

As an Orthopaedic Video Theater subscriber, I can go directly to and know that I will find a reliable video relevant to the topic. I know it’s credible because the AAOS and my colleagues published it.

AAOS Now: What’s next for the Orthopaedic Video Theater?

Dr. Plancher: It’s an exciting time because—despite the plethora of free video content online—the Orthopaedic Video Theater is becoming more exclusive to provide better education. Soon we will have exclusive content; accepted video programs will not be available on any other site for at least a year. We are investigating ways to offer CME credits for viewing a video. This helps improve the end product and, because authors are required to submit three educational objectives documenting that someone will learn or be able to do as a result of watching the video, enable us to gauge whether goals are being met.

In 2013, several new videos narrated in multiple languages will be introduced—a great benefit for international members. Members from Italy might be able to listen to narration in their native language rather than English only. At the 2013 AAOS Annual Meeting, the Orthopaedic Video Theater will introduce a new 3-D surgical video. It’s amazing!

For more information on the Orthopaedic Video Theater, visit