Today's News

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

OKU: Orthopaedic Knowledge 24/7: Academy's innovative online service draws rave reviews

The Academy's dynamic new cyber-library Orthopaedic Knowledge Online (OKO) is now up and running, providing members with a 21st century tool to care for their patients.

Since OKO was launched on October 15, 2001, more than 3,200 individual users have logged on, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. One doctor recently wrote in just to say he's "having a ball" with the site.

OKO is a highly visual learning experience that provides members with 24-hour instant access to orthopaedic information and current surgical techniques, offering video demonstrations and text-based information regarding the diagnosis, treatment and management of musculoskeletal disorders. The site will be constantly evolving, with new topics added and updates provided on an ongoing basis.

OKO is provided as a 'member benefit' and can be accessed directly at, or in the "library" building on the Orthopaedic Campus, which is in the Medical Education section of the AAOS home page at

"This site gives us instant access to information developed by recognized authorities in each subspecialty," says Richard H. Gelberman, MD, 2001 Academy president. "By providing answers to your questions when you need them in your practice, this type of clinical, problem-focused information will set the standard for online education."

Information in layers

OKO presents information to the user in layers. The first layer of information - images, text, video - can be viewed in about 10 minutes. For more in-depth knowledge, selected additional resources and information are provided. The third layer brings to bear all of the Academy's educational resources - abstracts from JAAOS, articles and chapters from other publications--full text for the doctor to read.

This layered design enables users to spend just a few minutes retrieving a piece of information, or hours reviewing new information in the field, as well as classic concepts.

Seven topics were posted when the site went "live" on October 15 - three new topics have been added since that time. OKO co-editors in chief William A. Grana, MD, and Robert H. Fitzgerald Jr., MD, hope to have at least another 12 topics posted by the end of 2002. Drs. Grana and Fitzgerald oversee the work of 10 section editors across all subspecialties in orthopaedics.

The ten modules currently online include:

Each topic represents one of the following subspecialties: sports medicine, foot and ankle, pediatrics, shoulder and elbow, trauma, hand and wrist, hip and knee reconstruction, non-operative orthopaedics, and spine.

In addition to the extensive information, images and video the site offers on selected orthopaedic topics and surgical techniques, OKO also delves into 'areas of controversy' in orthopaedics. This segment is presented in an audio format, so you are actually able to hear a panel discussion on a 'controversial' topic in orthopaedics.

At this time, 'areas of controversy' audio files are available on the following topics: meniscus repair, scaphoid fractures, trauma and shoulder.

Content updated frequently

"A neat thing about this site is that materials can be updated and changed frequently - on a monthly or yearly basis," Dr. Grana says. The ACL repair module, for example, has already been updated with the addition of a new procedure. "Another benefit is if you leave your book in your office, you'll be able to access the same information online at home." He adds.

The AAOS marketing department has launched an aggressive marketing and direct mail campaign encouraging Academy members to check out the site. The purpose of the campaign is to create awareness of OKO and the practical, useful nature of the service; specifically, the 24/7 convenience of the site and the fact that it's a continuously expanding complement of resources to orthopaedic surgeons' personal libraries.

"Over time, our goal is to provide an educational resource that provides tremendous depth and breadth for Academy members - and is available whenever they need it," says Howard Mevis, Director, department of electronic media, evaluation and course operations. "When they go to OKO, they'll know they're going to get reliable, high quality information that's going the meet their needs, and they won't have to waste their time searching for information on sites that may not be complete, accurate and up-to-date."

"It's really a matter of evolution," Dr. Fitzgerald says about the future of OKO. "Eventually it will evolve into a virtual orthopaedic warehouse . . . The key issue at this stage, though, is to get members' feedback and to modify OKO. It really needs the members of the Academy."

While you're here in Dallas, you're encouraged to check out OKO for yourself -just stop by the Multimedia Education Center in Hall C of the convention center for a demonstration.

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Last modified 05/February/2002