The AO Alliance has been collaborating with members of its network to continue its mission of improving care of the injured amidst the pandemic. Prof Heiner Winker, a retired trauma and orthopedic surgeon from Germany and long-time AO Alliance faculty, is one of them.
When he realized that maintaining contact and discussing cases with colleagues in the trauma and orthopedics field during the pandemic was challenging, Prof Winker developed a web-based pilot project for case studies. During the online events, participants would analyze trauma cases by applying AO principles and suggest nonoperative or operative treatment, according to local resources.
The first two pilot events for residents, senior residents, and lecturers, were held in Vietnam from February 25 to March 25, and in Zambia from April 8 to May 20, 2021. Prof Winker moderated both series. The webinars consisted of case presentations covering initial x-rays, soft tissue conditions, fracture classifications and soft tissue damage; and were followed by discussions about treatment options and the treatment performed.
Prof Winker notes that the webinars were a great success: “The local cases were well selected. They were fraught with problems, so we were able to discuss them very well. I am happy that colleagues presented the cases honestly, so that we all had an enormous benefit and lessons to learn from”. The participants echoed his sentiment ”“ they unanimously found the webinars to be useful and could all take away applicable lessons.
Similar webinars have begun in Bangladesh.