AAOS Welcomes Colombia—¡Bienvenidos!

By: Jennie McKee

The Academy will honor Colombia as the 2016 AAOS Guest Nation. The orthopaedists of the Republic of Colombia, as it is officially known, are represented by the Sociedad Colombiana de Cirugía Ortopédica y Traumatología (SCCOT). Founded in 1946, SCCOT contributes to the responsible development of the medical specialty and the ethical application of medical practice in Colombia. SCCOT also works to ensure unity and the personal and professional welfare of its members.

“We are pleased to be selected as the Guest Nation for the AAOS Annual Meeting,” said Antonio Solano, MD, SCCOT president. “SCCOT looks forward to strengthening the partnership between our two organizations by participating in this important meeting.” 


A view of the Cartagena, Colombia skyline.
Courtesy of Thinkstock

Meeting challenges and working with AAOS
Access to health care in Colombia, including in its three largest cities—Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali—is considerable. In this country of approximately 48 million people, Colombian orthopaedists face a number of challenges, including serving this large population with a limited number of orthopaedists (2,000 for the entire nation).

Road accidents are a major cause of trauma requiring orthopaedic care. Just as in the United States, problems such as diabetes and heart disease are significant factors that can affect outcomes of orthopaedic treatment.

In total, 1,500 of the country’s 2,000 orthopaedists are SCCOT members, and 136 Colombian orthopaedists are international affiliate members of the AAOS. The Colombian orthopaedic society’s two publications, including a scientific journal, help educate its members on trends in the latest orthopaedic research and surgical techniques. SCCOT’s courses on topics such as reconstructive spine surgery and shoulder and elbow surgical techniques attract orthopaedists from countries throughout Latin America, including Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Venezuela.

For almost a decade, SCCOT and the AAOS have worked together on a variety of educational opportunities. In 2007, the two organizations held their first program in Cartagena, Colombia. The 3-day program, led by AAOS program course director Douglas E. Padgett, MD, and SCCOT course director Adolfo Llinás, MD, was attended by 245 orthopaedic surgeons and residents. The didactic portion of the program included 19 lectures on hip and knee arthroplasty that covered a variety of topics, ranging from the role of arthroscopy to patellofemoral replacement, implant options, revision total hip replacement, and high tibial osteotomy.

Since then, SCCOT and the AAOS have collaborated on three international courses in Cartagena. Courses have covered the gamut of orthopaedic specialties—shoulder, hip, knee, foot and ankle, and trauma. The two organizations also partnered on a webinar on sports medicine and pediatrics. They look forward to continuing to collaborate on various other educational programs in the future.

SCCOT in the world
Throughout the years, SCCOT has been recognized as a Guest Nation by different various national orthopaedic societies, such as those of Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Morocco, Brazil, and Venezuela.

Since 2004, SCCOT has been involved in the Latin American Meeting of Hip and Knee Surgeons (ELCCR), an event that brings together 600 orthopaedists from Latin America who are interested in updating their knowledge about hip and knee replacement. 

Don’t miss SCCOT events
SCCOT will participate in the following special events and other activities to be held throughout the AAOS Annual Meeting:

  • Opening ceremony (Wednesday, March 2, 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.)—Colombia will receive special recognition as the Guest Nation and Dr. Solano Urrutia, SCCOT president, will speak.
  • Guest Nation Posters—Ten scientific posters presenting research by Colombian orthopaedists will be on display in Academy Hall C throughout the meeting. Special poster tours in Spanish will also be available.
  • Guest Nation Exhibit—Representatives from SCCOT will be available to speak with attendees throughout the Annual Meeting at the Guest Nation exhibit, located in Academy Hall C. 
  • Symposium L, “Gunshot and Explosive Wounds” (Wednesday, March 2, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.)—This collaborative SCCOT/AAOS symposium will be co-moderated by James R. Ficke, MD, and Camilo Restrepo, MD. Carlo Bellabarba, MD, Oscar Calderon, MD, Xavier A. Duralde, MD, Rami Mosheiff, MD; and Marcus F. Sciadini, MD, will also participate. During the symposium, experts will discuss the impact of high-, intermediate-, and low-velocity gunshot and other violent wounds, and will also explore techniques for evaluating these patients and providing appropriate care and physical rehabilitation.

Special articles prepared by SCCOT members will appear each day in the Daily Edition, AAOS Now.

SCCOT national meeting
SCCOT will hold its national meeting—the society’s equivalent of the Academy’s Annual Meeting—April 27–30, 2016, in Medellín, Colombia. For more information about the national meeting—or about SCCOT in general—visit SCCOT’s Spanish-language website at http://www.sccot.org.co/

About the Guest Nation program
The Guest Nation Program was inaugurated in 2005 to foster greater recognition and awareness of the contributions made to the practice of orthopaedics by orthopaedic surgeons from around the globe and to enhance the robust international flavor and excitement of the AAOS Annual Meeting. Previous Guest Nation honorees have included Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Thailand, Mexico, Japan, Canada, France, and China.