AO Technical Commission Innovation Awards

For outstanding achievements.

AO recognition acts as a driver for further innovative development.

The AO Recognition Award, the AO Technical Commission Innovation Prize, and the AO Technical Commission Certificate of Merit are intended to recognize and encourage the continued pursuit of excellence, innovation, and continued rigorous improvement.

The AO Technical Commission recognizes outstanding achievements in development and innovation, which have a lasting impact on patient care and outcomes in fields central to the AO mission.


The AO Recognition Award is awarded by the AO Foundation's supervisory body, the AOFB, to honor individuals within the AO Technical Commission who have made significant contributions to the AO Foundation throughout their career and achieved meaningful impact to product innovation and patient care.

Theodor "Theddy" F Slongo, MD, of Bern, Switzerland, is the recipient of the AO Technical Commission (AO TC) 2022 Recognition Award. He has been an active member of the AO TC since 1997 and has chaired several groups, including the External Fixation Expert Group and the Pediatric Expert Group.

As an extremely experienced and world-renowned orthopedic pediatric surgeon, Slongo’s involvement with the AO TC began with the conceptual design and development of new implants for children, perhaps most notably the Titanium Elastic Nail intended for diaphyseal fracture fixation. More recently, his vast experience and innovative mind have driven the development of external fixator systems including the creation of the MAXFRAME® Multi-Axial Correction System, the first solution to provide precise 3D planning, simulation, and correction of complex deformities.

Slongo has continually demonstrated true innovation in product development via his tendency to consider disruptive technologies, often supporting distinct adaptations to surgical techniques and procedures if the result achieves improvements in functional outcomes for his patients.

In addition to his practical ability to help develop new solutions, Slongo is an excellent teacher with decades of experience as an AO educator. He brings broad clinical knowledge to his courses, workshops, and live surgery sessions, and his students appreciate his sharing of an array of tips and tricks for complex situations.

The AO TC honored Slongo for his unflagging dedication to the improvement of patient care by supporting research and development, fostering clinical evidence, and providing his knowledge and experience in education.


  • Previous winners of the AO Recognition Award
    2017 David L Helfet

    2016 Dankward Höntzsch

    2012 Pietro Regazzoni

    2010 Paul W Pavlov

    2008 Jörg A Auer

    2006 Alex E Staubli

    2005 Theerachai Apivatthakakul, Anselmo Reyes, Christoph Sommer, Timothy Weber

    2004 Emanuel Gautier

    2004 Michael Schütz

    2003 Brigitte von Rechenberg

    2002 Phil Kregor

    2001 Michael Plecko

    2000 Michael Wagner

    1999 Reto Babst

    1998 Douglas Klotch

    1998 Christian Krettek

    1994 Christoph Müller

    1994 Roland Schmoker



The AO Technical Commission is delighted to announce the Pelvic Expert Group (PEEG) as the esteemed winner of the 2023 Innovation Prize. The PEEG has been honored for its innovation in developing the Intrapelvic Acetabular System, a comprehensive set of implants and tools offering innovative solutions in pelvic surgery.

The genesis of this system stems from the careful observation of evolving fracture patterns and a paradigm shift from non-operative to surgical treatment in pelvic fractures. The Intrapelvic Acetabular System addresses the complexities associated with fracture types and recognizes that screw fixation alone may not always suffice. The introduction of a plate applied to the quadrilateral surface proves to be a pivotal advancement.

The AO Technical Commission commends the PEEG’s outstanding contribution to advancing orthopedic care. The Intrapelvic Acetabular System stands as a testament to the group’s commitment to innovation, ultimately improving outcomes for patients undergoing pelvic surgery.


The PEEG is comprised of:

  • Michael Stover (US)—Chairperson
  • Jorge Barla (Argentina)
  • Robin Peter (Switzerland)
  • Ramesh Sen (India)
  • David Stephen (Canada)


  • Previous winners of the AO Technical Commission Innovation Prize
    2021 Rick Bransford, Frank Kandziora, Chung Chek Wong, Abdulrazzaq Alobaid, Osmar Moraes

    2020 Hans-Christoph Pape, Brett Crist, Peter Giannoudis, David Hak, Ingo Marzi, Christof Müller, Brent Norris, Martijn Poeze, Gerhard Schmidmaier

    2018 Karl Stoffel

    2016 Scott P Bartlett, Daniel Buchbinder, Carl-Peter Cornelius, Nils-Claudius Gellrich, Damir Matic, Alf L Nastri, Rainer Schmelzeisen

    2013 Gerhard Schmidmaier, Michael J Raschke

    2013 Michael Mayer

    2012 Per-Henrik Agren, Michael Castro, Juan B Gerstner Garcés, Leslie Grujic, Andrew K Sands, Ian G Winson

    2011 Theodor F Slongo

    2010 Peter Däscher, Emanuel Gautier, Romano Matthys-Mark, Urs Schlegel, Peter Toggwiler, Dieter Wahl

    2008 Alberto A Fernández Dell'Oca

    2007 Toru Sato

    2007 Takeshi Sawaguchi

    2006 Sigvard T Hansen

    2004 Stephan Perren

    2001 Fridolin Schläpfer

    2001 Robert Frigg

    1995 Hill Hastings, Jürg Brennwald, Ueli Büchler, Jesse Jupiter


The Certificate of Merit is awarded by the AO Technical Commission's supervisory body, the AO TCEB, to individuals as a sign of appreciation for outstanding activities over the course of one project or a year.

In December 2019, Markus Windolf received the AO Technical Commission Certificate of Merit. He was in particular awarded for the outstanding and innovative development of a simplified navigation system based on shape recognition and for a concept to automatically determine the required screw length during drilling.

Both concepts are now in translation to clinical applications which is a clearly visible sign that the Concept Development Focus Area under the thoughtful leadership of Windolf plays an essential role in the efforts of the AO Foundation to foster innovation. In this regard the AO Technical Commission wishes Windolf and his team continued success and is looking forward to a fruitful collaboration.

  • Previous winners of the AO Technical Commission Certificate of Merit
    2012 Marc C Metzger, Alexander Schramm, Edward B Strong

    2009 Marc C Metzger, Edward B Strong

    2007 Peter Messmer

    2007 Beat Hammer

    2006 Kaj Klaue, Hans Zwipp

    2005 Maria F Sanchez

    2004 Romano Matthys

    2004 Daniel Rikli

    2003 Yvonne Adank

    2001 Ortrun Pohler

    2001 Christoph Nötzli

    2001 Joy Buchanan

    2000 Frank Baumgart

    2000 Hermann Oberli

    1994 Helga Reichel

Prize for Lifetime Achievements

J Kellam and S Perren at the AO Courses opening 2004

In 2004 Stephan Perren has been awarded the AO Innovation Award for his lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the development of new concepts, technologies, and treatment options.

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