Frequently Asked Questions about AOSpine

AOSpine General Frequently Asked Questions

What is AOSpine?

AOSpine is a professional medical association for the AO Foundation, a not for profit foundation based in Switzerland. This is an international community of spine surgeons generating, distributing, and exchanging knowledge to advance science and the spine care profession through research, education, and community development. With this collaborative approach, AOSpine inspires lifelong learning and improves patients' lives.


What benefits can AOSpine give me as a spine surgeon?

AOSpine can provide educational, research, and networking opportunities to enrich the knowledge and enhance the career of any spine surgeon—no matter whether an experienced master or fresh out of residency. AOSpine invests in spine research and offers state-of-the-art training courses, as well as fellowship programs and congresses which augment a surgeon's knowledge of spine principles and techniques, and enable him or her to establish and nurture professional relationships within their country and around the world.


How is AOSpine funded?

AOSpine is a professional medical association of spine surgeons, a clinical division of the AO Foundation—an independent not for profit foundation. The AO Foundation has a strong financial independence thanks to the Foundation's endowment.


If AOSpine is a medically guided organization, how is it structured?

AOSpine operates under its own template of governance through the AOSpine International Board, global commissions for Education, Research, and Community Development, Regional Boards, and Country Councils. For more information on the governance of AOSpine, please click here.


I'm interested in contacting a regional office of AOSpine, how do I do this?

For a list of our regional office contacts, please click here.

AOSpine Education Frequently Asked Questions

What does AOSpine Education offer?

AOSpine Education is the education steering body of AOSpine International. Its role is to develop consistent and practical educational programs, strategies, and tools for implementation by the AOSpine Regions, leverage and share educational resources across the AOSpine Regions, plan and manage multi-regional educational events, and create AOSpine classification systems. For more information, please click here.

How can I find an AOSpine Education event / course?

Each year, AOSpine runs over 150 educational events worldwide in various formats, covering all pathologies and reaching out to surgeons at every stage of their career. AOSpine courses, symposia and academic congresses provide an opportunity for hands-on learning, alongside constructive discussions with moderators and colleagues in a stimulating environment. To find an AOSpine Education event, please click here.

Does AOSpine host congresses?

Yes, each year AOSpine hosts an international congress, alternating between the Global Spine Congress and the World Forum for Spine Research.

Can I submit an abstract to be presented at the Global Spine Congress or the World Forum for Spine Research?

Yes, each congress supports a peer reviewed abstract submission process. The abstract submission dates are always communicated to our AOSpine members, posted on the Global Spine Congress and the World Forum for Spine Research websites, and announced in top ranked spine journals.

How do AOSpine Education courses differ from other spine related courses?

In contrast to traditional teacher-directed courses, AOSpine Education's programs are highly interactive and involve the learner, enabling spine care professionals to acquire the specific knowledge progressively to fit their professional needs and clinical practice.

Does AOSpine offer an education plan or a curriculum?

Yes, the AOSpine Curriculum is a framework for continuing development in diverse practice settings. The Curriculum is based on the competencies that enable spine surgeons to perform effectively across six areas of pathology in their practice setting and to meet the standards of the profession.

Does AOSpine train its faculty?

Yes. AOSpine invests in faculty development for Course Chairpersons, Faculty, Educational Advisors and a new concept of Surgeon Educator is being developed. Subject matter of faculty development includes how people learn, giving a lecture, running a practical exercise, leading group discussions, and moderating and debating. By developing the mentoring skills of its faculty members, AOSpine ensures a professional transfer of know-how to the next generation of spine surgeons.

What is the role of a Course Chairperson?

The chairperson must successfully develop, plan and lead an educational event of the highest quality, which enhances the clinical knowledge and skills of participating surgeons. Key responsibilities include developing, planning and leading the entire education event, establishing a scientific program based on learner needs and aligned with the AOSpine Curriculum, defining key learning outcomes and teaching methods that optimize the educational experience for the participants, and selecting the best qualified faculty.

What is the role of an Educational Advisor?

Before an AOSpine event, the Educational Advisor supports the Course Chairperson in shaping course content and development while focusing on participant needs and CME compliance, reviewing proposed program and providing feedback to the Course Chairperson, and helping the Course Chairperson plan the pre-course and attend and / or lead this event.

How can I become AOSpine Faculty?

Spine care professionals interested in becoming AOSpine Faculty should attend an AOSpine event and speak with a current AOSpine faculty member about the process of becoming AOSpine Faculty. Alternatively, you are invited to express your interest by sending an email to

Does AOSpine support fellowships?

Yes, as the leading global academic community for innovative education, AOSpine invests heavily in the various forms of longand short-term fellowship programs and observation opportunities. AOSpine fellowships provide additional experience in surgical techniques for fully trained orthopaedic and neurosurgeons interested in spine surgery. They also familiarize surgeons with the principles, indications, planning, techniques and complications in the areas of spine surgery performed at the center visited.

How do I apply for an AOSpine fellowship?

AOSpine has regional specific guidelines, application forms and contacts. Please review the guidelines and applications forms by clicking here. The AOSpine regional contact person for fellowships is also listed on this page.

I have a question to ask about AOSpine Education, who do I contact?

Please contact AOSpine Education at

AOSpine Research Frequently Asked Questions

How does AOSpine advance science in Research?

AOSpine Research is driving the transformation of spine care through the AOSpine Research Network and the AOSpine Knowledge Forums; which are pathology focused working groups of key opinion leaders aiming to generate knowledge by way of clinical studies, and publishing of evidence-based recommendations. In the process, they integrate the latest advances and outcomes of treatment and techniques into AOSpine's education programs. For further information, updates and participation opportunities, please contact

What has been achieved in the AOSpine Research Network?

The AOSpine Research Network has achieved a lengthy list of poster / oral presentations and original publications. For a list of the top 5 papers including Impact Factor from 2009—2012, please click here.

What are the AOSpine Knowledge Forums?

The AOSpine Knowledge Forums are pathology focused working groups acting on behalf of AOSpine in their domain of scientific expertise. Each forum consists of a steering committee of up to 10 international spine experts who meet biannually to discuss research, assess the best evidence for current practices, and formulate clinical trials to advance their field of spine expertise. Authors are compensated for their travel and accommodation costs. Study support is provided directly through AOSpine's Research department and AO's Clinical Investigation and Documentation unit. There are no other institutional subsidies, corporate affiliations or funding sources supporting this work unless clearly documented and disclosed.

How can I join a Knowledge Forum?

AOSpine will make sure that a call for membership open to all AOSpine members will be announced on the webpage and other communication channels. In exceptional cases, the call might be limited to specialized members (e.g. Deformity surgeons). An application form designed to identify study specific requirements must be completed to be considered for membership. Participation enquires are also welcome to be sent to

Which Knowledge Forums are currently running?

AOSpine Research currently has the following Knowledge Forums running in Trauma, SCI, Tumor, & Deformity. For more information on these Knowledge Forums, please click here.

I have a question to ask about AOSpine Research, who do I contact?

Please contact AOSpine Research at


AOSpine Community Development Frequently Asked Questions

Does AOSpine have a membership program?

Yes. As the largest global community of spine care professionals dedicated to advancing academic knowledge and professional careers, AOSpine Membership gives you the chance to exchange your knowledge and experience with peers to further develop your spine specialty, learn which surgical strategies give the best results, the membership allows you to stay abreast of the latest advances through AOSpine's scientific journals, participate in online case discussions in CaseBase, access online top ranked spine journals, and gain access to AOSpine's video / webinar library.

Why should I become a member?

Membership gives you the privileged access to the world's largest spine community. AOSpine fosters the global community of spine care professionals—all surgeons, researchers, and healthcare practitioners interested in improving the outcome of spine surgery. AOspine active community ensures the exchange of knowledge at a local, regional and international level and networking opportunities among members for further professional career development.

How much does AOSpine's membership cost?

AOSpine offers two different membership. The normal Membership is 100 CHF annually (105 USD) and the Membership Plus is 190 CHF annually (200 USD). For both memberships, a 10% discount is available for a 2 year plan. Additionally, there is a 50% discount available for medical students / residents. For more information on the AOSpine Membership packages, please click here.

I have a question to ask about my AOSpine Membership, who do I contact?

Please contact our Membership Program coordinator at


AOSpine Publications Frequently Asked Questions

Does AOSpine publish scientific journals?

Yes, AOSpine publishes the Global Spine Journal and the Evidence-Based Spine-Care Journal.

What is the scope of the Global Spine Journal?

The Global Spine Journal is an international peer-reviewed quarterly journal that includes scientific articles as well as original research, reviews, commentaries, editorials, technical reports, and case studies in all spine fields. The journal aims to promote communications among spine surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and neurosurgeons by providing an integrated and balanced view of the clinical and basic science studies of spinal disorders.

What is the scope of the Evidence-Based Spine-Care Journal?

The Evidence-Based Spine-Care Journal is a cutting edge journal dedicated to finding, describing and developing the highest quality evidence. This peer-reviewed journal sets the stage for evidencebased practice and will influence the future of spine surgery for years to come. EBSJ focuses on comparative studies of effectiveness and seeks to stimulate further areas of high quality spine-related research.

Can I contribute to the Global Spine Journal or the Evidence-Based Spine-Care Journal?

Yes, to understand the process and requirements to contribute to the Global Spine Journal, please click here. To understand the process and requirements to contribute to the Evidence-Based Spine-Care Journal, please click here.

Does AOSpine publish books?

Yes, AOSpine has a 'bookshelf' of 7 highly illustrated books on subjects such as performing clinical research, measurements in spine care, and minimally invasive spine surgery to name a few. For a complete list of AOSpine books, please click here.

Does AOSpine publish books in a digital format?

Yes, you have the ability to purchase and download any AOSpine book directly to your personal computer, and to view offline when no Internet connection is available. Page display is fast and easy because the AOSpine books use an innovative web-based platform. Users can set up profiles and personalize their accounts by centrally managing their bookmarks and notes. Once users are logged in they can print content directly, or download and print full chapters.

If I am interested in contributing to an AOSpine book, what should I do?

If you are interested in contributing to an AOSpine book, please contact us at