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The AO Surgery app series

The AO Surgery app series brings useful fracture classification and management mobile.

The AO Foundation is a medically guided nonprofit organization led by an international group of surgeons specialized in the treatment of trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

They have released a popular free surgery reference guide, the AO Surgery Reference, which is an application-based resource for the management of fractures, based on current clinical principles, practices and available evidence. It describes the complete surgical management process from diagnosis to aftercare for fractures in a given anatomical region, and also assembles relevant published AO material. Furthermore, they have also released a companion app guiding classification of long bone fractures.

This app is incredibly useful when evaluating a trauma situation by taking the user through a number of steps:

•  Overview
•  Diagnosis
•  Decision
•  Preparation
•  Approach
•  Reduction & Fixation
•  Aftercare














In the overview section, the user is required to pick the anatomical area which has an injury.  Once you have selected the area which contains the fracture, a new Diagnosis tab is displayed which you have selected the area which contains the fracture, a new Diagnosis tab is displayed which shows all the major types of fracture in that region. Tapping on a particular diagnosis highlights further information including imaging and structures that may potentially be damaged. Having selected a diagnosis, the user is now presented with the Decision tab. This provides helpful information about the most appropriate type of treatment for a particular fracture. Again, tapping on a particular treatment brings up further information related to that specific procedure.



























At this point, the user can review the diagnosis and choose an appropriate management plan, which leads to the Preparation tab. This outlines the key surgical positioning appropriate for the selected procedure. The next section is Approach, which shows anatomical hazards and safe zones to be considered during surgery. The section on reduction and fixation contains a wealth of information related to methods of reduction and how to maintain this. The quality of the diagrams is impressive and the level of detail is suitable for both orthopaedic trainees and consultants. The final section discusses the appropriate aftercare for a particular injury. This is particularly useful to ensure that patients are aware of all the correct
















There are many features to like about these apps which include the free price, the detailed trauma reference including specific treatment and management supplement with lots of images and examples. However there are a number of potential improvements which include the omission of certain anatomical areas, eg forearm shaft/pelvic ring not yet available and the need for constant internet access – it does not function offline.

AO Surgery Reference is a must-download for anybody with an interest in trauma and fracture management. The scope and depth of content is unrivalled on this platform and the developers have done a fantastic job creating a simple easy to use app. Highly recommended.


iTunes: Search for ‘AO Surgery Reference’

Reviewed by Mr Tom Lewis