Published 2/1/2016
Amanda Decker

AAOS Spans the Globe

International education part of AAOS commitment to improving orthopaedics
Over a span of 8 weeks in the fall of 2015, AAOS held six programs on four different continents, reaching an estimated 2,300 international surgeons. The AAOS International Committee, chaired by William B. Stetson, MD, selected the programs from a competitive set of proposals submitted by international orthopaedic societies. Lively case discussions facilitated scientific exchange and gave AAOS faculty, local faculty, and program participants the opportunity to present distinct—and often similar—points of view.

"The dynamic exchange that takes place in a face-to-face setting is incredible," said Dr. Stetson. "Having participated in these meetings as faculty, I find I always learn something. I am consistently impressed with the quality and innovation in orthopaedics from my colleagues outside the United States."

Program highlights
Romania—Guido Marra, MD,
and Dr. Stetson, together with local faculty, presented a shoulder course at the Societatea Romana de Ortopedie si Traumatologie (SOROT) Congress on Oct. 21–23, in Bucharest, Romania. The course presented a unique opportunity to extend the current 3-year, train-the-trainers effort in Romania. In the train-the-trainers program, four faculty from Romania and neighboring countries are selected each year to participate in a week-long intensive course with U.S. faculty, culminating in a basic course for 100 participants presented by the combined faculty. Ultimately, the goal is to improve shoulder surgical care in that country.

"The opportunity to participate in the SOROT meeting this fall allowed Dr. Stetson and me to evaluate the perception of our ongoing education program in Romania, and strengthen relationships with our Romanian orthopaedic colleges and leaders," explained Dr. Marra. "In addition, we were able to interview, meet, and select incoming faculty members for the next AAOS shoulder program."

Mexico—At the Annual Congress of the Federación Mexicana de Colegios de Ortopedia y Traumatología, A.C. (FEMECOT), which took place Oct. 28–31, in Cancún, Mexico, a joint AAOS-FEMECOT program focused on current concepts in biomaterials. Use of biomaterials is frequent in Mexico, and FEMECOT President Victor Toledo Infanson, MD, and organization leadership identified this topic as very relevant to the practice of orthopaedics in their country. Faculty included Bert R. Mandelbaum, MD, DHL (Hon.); William Bugbee, MD; Andreas H. Gomoll, MD, PhD; and Kevin D. Plancher, MD, MS, FACS, FAAOS. The course also welcomed the Spanish perspective from Mariano Fernandez-Fairen, MD.

With an estimated 600 total participants, several heralded the case discussions as among the best parts of the program. Two course participants were invited to the stage for each case discussion to increase participation.

"I was very impressed with the level of knowledge and talent," said Dr. Bugbee. "Our Mexican neighbors have high-quality orthopaedics, and we should continue our scientific exchange."

Chile—In a first-ever collaboration with the Sociedad Chilena de Ortopedia y Traumatología (SCHOT), the AAOS faculty team of Robert A. Pedowitz, MD, PhD; Jack M. Bert, MD, FACS; and Scott F. Dye, MD, together with Chilean faculty, presented a Sports Medicine of the Knee session on Nov. 18 in La Serena, Chile. The response from the Chilean orthopaedic community was overwhelming, with more than 500 orthopaedists registering for the course.

"Chilean surgeons use techniques that we in the United States use differently, so it was interesting to see their perspective on treatment of certain knee conditions," commented Dr. Bert. "They have been using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells for several years as both injection treatment for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee and for open grafting techniques for articular cartilage lesions. They report improved clinical results compared to arthroscopic treatment and marrow stimulation techniques with the goal of postponing total knee arthroplasty in younger patients. Despite the lack of insurance reimbursement for utilizing injectables for OA, their costs are much less for viscosupplementation, PRP, and stem cell kits, thus allowing treatment for a larger patient population."

Alex Vaisman, MD, president of the Knee and Arthroscopy section of SCHOT, indicated that the course "was clearly a success and has surpassed expectations."

China—Dror Paley, MD, FRCSC, and Kevin Tetsworth, MD, FRACS, led a lower-limb deformity course at the Chinese Orthopaedic Association Congress held Nov. 19–22, in Chongqing, China. They presented basic and advanced concepts in limb alignment, corrective osteotomies, and skeletal deformity analysis. About 200 participants developed preoperative planning skills for the correction of coronal, sagittal, and oblique plane deformities. Drs. Paley and Tetsworth continued teaching even after the official program had ended, sharing in one-on-one conversations with course participants.

Brazil—George V. Russell, Jr, MD, MBA, and Edward A. Perez, MD, participated in a combined session with the Sociedade Brasileira de Traumatologia Ortopedia (SBTO) at the Annual Congress of the national society, Sociedade Brasileira de Ortopedia e Traumatologia (SBOT), held Nov. 19–21, in São Paulo, Brazil. Presenting to a standing-room only audience of an estimated 600 surgeons, the day began with a case-based symposium on avoiding complications in trauma presented by both AAOS and Brazilian faculty. This was followed by modules on controversies in upper limb trauma, lower limb trauma, and advances in the field.

"The extremely positive evaluations from participants tell us the event was very successful," said Paulo Roberto Barbosa de Toledo Lourenço, MD, SBTO president. "I'm sure that this kind of relationship between our two societies can benefit Brazilian surgeons, offering them a high-quality educational program with renowned faculty."

India—Together with their counterparts from the Indian Orthopaedic Association, Robert P. Dunbar, MD; Carlo Bellabarba, MD; and Michael J. Gardner, MD, led a trauma conclave at the IOACON annual meeting Dec. 9-14, in Jaipur, India. An estimated 550 Indian surgeons participated in the course. In three separate modules, AAOS and Indian faculty addressed proximal fractures, pelvic fractures, and spinal trauma. Each module concluded with a robust and impassioned case discussion. One participant commented that "the case-based discussions were very useful from the clinical point of view, as there was a frank exchange of experience-based insights."

"The energy of our Indian faculty colleagues and the participants was fantastic," agreed Dr. Dunbar. "It was clear that these surgeons were leaders locally, nationally, and in some cases, internationally."

This program was an important step in preparations to welcome India as Guest Nation at the 2017 AAOS Annual Meeting.

Meeting our mission
AAOS has partnered with more than 35 countries to promote invaluable educational exchange and improve the practice of orthopaedics. With the world becoming ever more connected, AAOS educational offerings and collaborations continue to play an important role in improving orthopaedic care worldwide.

To learn more about international activities and programs at www.aaos.org/international

Amanda Decker is manager, international programs at AAOS. She can be reached at decker@aaos.org

2016 Education Programs

  • Timisoara, Romania—Shoulder
  • Yokohama, Japan—Periprosthetic Joint Infection
  • Mumbai and Delhi, India—Trauma, Spine, and Sports Medicine
  • Sofia, Bulgaria—Elbow
  • Viña del Mar, Chile—Shoulder
  • China—AAOS will represent the United States as Guest Nation