AO Foundation

Reviving the World's Largest Surgery Reference Site

Reviving the World's Largest Surgery Reference Site



  • Health


  • Experience & Commerce Platforms


  • Sitecore
  • Coveo
  • Microsoft

AO Foundation

Get to Know AO Foundation

The medical field is one that’s constantly changing. The way we understand the body and how to treat it changes as we gain new information and as people try new things. When new discoveries are made or new surgical techniques established, that information has to be stored somewhere and made accessible to doctors around the globe.

The AO began with a problem: How to improve patient outcomes in the treatment of trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. Today, this remains the priority for everyone at and involved with the AO.

Short for Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen, the AO is a dedicated resource and repository of information. It is the premier innovator in the surgical treatment of bone fractures and disorders. While leading in the innovation of these treatments and techniques, the AO also keeps track of all of their advancements on one site. And when that site needed an update, they turned to Valtech.

AO Foundation

Resuscitating a Website

AO Surgery Reference is the largest site that AO operates. It’s a vast repository of information and a resource for the management of fractures, based on current clinical principles, practices and available evidence. And it’s not just for reference to human surgeries either; veterinary practices are also included in the site.

AO Foundation needed their Surgery Reference site updated to fit in more with the 21st Century digital landscape. The site was full of accurate information, but the graphics and user interface were outdated. Also, a lot of the AO Foundation websites had already been migrated over to Sitecore CMS, but the Surgery Reference, their biggest site in terms of information and traffic, still hadn’t been migrated yet. So, they needed a migration to Sitecore and a digital/graphics upgrade and decided to accomplish both tasks at the same time.

We put together a multidisciplinary team from all over to tackle AO Foundation’s needs. Members from Valtech offices in Switzerland, Ukraine, Denmark, France and the Netherlands all came together to complete this project. And did such a good job that the team created to tackle this project has been kept together to work on multiple other projects as well.

A Unique Sticking Point

A Unique Sticking Point

Each project brings its own unique obstacle to overcome and problem to solve. With the AO Surgery Reference, their old CMS made use of Word Documents for importing content. Because the content on the Surgery Reference is created by doctors and surgeons around the world, it’s easier for them to create their content in a familiar space like Microsoft Word and then have that content imported directly from the Word file into their CMS. However, Sitecore doesn’t offer this kind of functionality.

A Singular Solution

A Singular Solution

As a Sitecore partner, our dev team understands the CMS inside and out. Because of this, we were able to create a special tool exclusively for the Surgery Reference website that would allow content to be created in Word documents and then imported directly into Sitecore.

AO Foundation

The Results

The AO Foundation Surgery Reference website now includes functionalities it didn’t have before as well as a new and updated look. The surgeons who add content to the site have the ability to continue doing so in the straightforward, user-friendly manner that they’re used to. And visitors to the site have access to all of the important information the site offers as well as AI powered search suggestions.

The Surgery Reference site continues to be AO Foundation’s biggest, both in terms of the amount of information that’s sored on it and in terms of traffic. And the changes that have come to the site through our work are just the tip of the iceberg. If you think your project has elements included that are impossible to reach, tell us about them and let our teams find solutions that otherwise didn’t exist before.

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