August 2004 Bulletin

OKO is portal to orthopaedic knowledge

Site redesigned to reflect multiple avenues for education

By William A. Grana, MD, MPH

Orthopaedic Knowledge Online (OKO) first went live in 2002, and ever since, we have been listening and shaping the site to meet AAOS members’ needs for educational resources and 24/7 access to comprehensive, authoritative orthopaedic information. With more than 10,500 registered OKO users, the site is now poised to become the portal for orthopaedic knowledge online.

To highlight the new features that have been added to OKO over the past year, we have changed the home page, making it easier to navigate the site. This new home page features four sections: OKO Topics, Continuing Medical Education, Orthopaedic Review and a Virtual Bookstore. To the left, a list of AAOS resources provides easy access to Academy journals, patient information, practice management information, public and media information, and member services, as well as a link to the AAOS home page.

To access the menu of orthopaedic topics and video—the mainstay of OKO since its inception and recently partially sponsored by Smith and Nephew Endoscopy—a visitor simply clicks the OKO Topics link and logs in. In addition, all visitors can access the Continuing Medical Education (CME), Orthopaedic Review and Virtual Bookstore sections by clicking on the appropriate icon. (Some portions of the CME area are restricted to OKO subscribers and AAOS members.)

Multiple avenues for education

With the ongoing emphasis on maintenance of certification and lifelong learning, the convenient and easily accessible resources of the OKO are becoming more important. That’s why we’ve expanded the site to include not only topics in orthopaedics, but also CME opportunities, online self-assessment and self-study guides for resident and general orthopaedists. Now, OKO not only covers specific topics in depth, it also offers a breadth of knowledge opportunities.

By the end of this year, we anticipate having 70 in-depth orthopaedic topics online. Topics are organized within the subspecialties of orthopaedic practice. The topics are written in a consistent format that includes pathophysiology, diagnosis, management options and surgical techniques. AAOS members and OKO subscribers can review the diagnosis, treatment and management of musculoskeletal disorders through video, text and images.

The CME area provides visitors with a variety of CME opportunities, including selected OKO topics that offer CME credits, online CME modules that are built around literature review and expert opinion, Web casts of Annual Meeting symposia, online self-assessment examinations and other non-credit self-assessment opportunities.

The Orthopaedic Review includes a self-study Web site review of questions developed to supplement Orthopaedic Knowledge Update 7, as well as Flash Cards and Cases. Under the leadership of John Sarwark, MD, OKO’s associate editor, the Orthopaedic Review section will be a continuously updated resource for self-directed rapid study and review of orthopaedics. With the guidance of Jay D. Mabrey, MD, OKO’s technology editor, we will begin to develop more exciting applications that take full advantage of the new technologies that have recently become available on the Internet.

Finally, there’s the Virtual Bookstore, which links visitors to the wealth of online, print and electronic resources available through the AAOS. Here, visitors can browse and search five years of Instructional Course Lectures online and purchase PDF versions of the chapters. Once a purchase is made, the bookstore becomes your library, providing immediate access to the select items that best meet your needs. There’s also a link to the AAOS online catalog of products.

Positive responses

The new look has generated positive responses from both heavy users and new visitors, like this comment from long-time user Abbott Kagan II, MD: “OKO has evolved very nicely since its inception. It’s more user-friendly with so much more information and great videos to help you visualize procedures. People who looked at OKO in the past really need to take another look.”

Keith P. Johnson, MD, agrees: “Overall the OKO is the best online education site I’ve ever used. Most often I log onto to review/learn about new topics and procedures. I started using OKO in its infancy, when I was a chief resident. I continue to use it as a fellow. With new topics and updates I will continue using OKO throughout my career.”

“It’s easy to use, good quality presentations and the info is adequate,” says Jeff Oettinger, MD. “If people aren’t using OKO, I can only guess it’s because they’re unaware of the service.”

Now that you’ve read this article, you can no longer say you’re unaware of this exciting educational service from the AAOS. Now’s the time to start exploring and using OKO. Simply click on the OKO icon from the AAOS home page, or go to:

William M. Grana, MD, MPH, is editor-in-chief of Orthopaedics Knowledge Online. He can be reached at

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