The Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology Is This Year’s Guest Nation

By: Nunzio Spina, MD, and Alberto Di Martino, MD, PhD


Italy is proud to be the AAOS 2018 Annual Meeting Guest Nation. Italian orthopaedists are represented by the Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (SIOT) and more than 250 SIOT members are here at the meeting.

Founded in Milan in 1891, SIOT currently boasts 4,700 members. Its mission is to promote the continuous education of its members through the sponsorship of relevant Congresses and the organization of master’s programs and seminars. Over the last 30 years, several specialty societies have been developed within SIOT. These associations exist independently of SIOT and represent an important cultural resource for the society.

Every year, SIOT offers numerous scholarships to specialists younger than age 35. SIOT’s many master’s programs are held at universities and/or hospitals and concentrate on focused topics of musculoskeletal diseases or surgical treatments, often inviting contributions from the international opinion leaders on the topic. This international cultural exchange is essential to the vision of the Italian orthopaedic community. To illustrate, Italy’s Guest Nation Symposium on Wednesday will include both SIOT and AAOS faculty.

Italian orthopaedists will be also involved in many of the AAOS scientific program sessions during Annual Meeting. In particular, we continue to contribute high-quality submissions to the Orthopaedic Video Theater, many of which have received awards. Over the years, we have discovered that these videos can not only break language barriers but also illustrate the quality and skills of Italian orthopaedic surgeons.

For most Italian orthopaedic surgeons, the AAOS Annual Meeting is also a place to connect with friends they have met during international fellowships. This feeling of community can also be found at SIOT’s National Congress. The most important cultural event of our Society, the Annual SIOT Congress provides its more than 3,000 attendees with ample opportunities to socialize, which is important for making and renewing friendships. The 2018 National Congress will be held in Bari, Puglia, in southeast Italy.

Given the drastic changes to the European vision about health politics, and due to immigration and economic disadvantages observed in many parts of Europe and in surrounding developing countries, Italy is facing challenges to its universally accessible health system. In this context, orthopaedics and trauma surgery are political and economic topics of interest. The SIOT Council, led by its president, determines the issues and the strategies of the cultural life of the Society and maintains relations with scientific associations, as well as with the political world, to protect scientific research and teaching. Importantly, SIOT also provides continuing medical education, and strategic guidelines that are regularly published in the official journals of the Society: the “Giornale Italiano di Ortopedia e Traumatologia” and the English language, Pubmed Indexed “Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology.”

Nunzio Spina, MD, is a specialist in orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation medicine. He is considered an authoritative expert in the history of orthopaedics in Italy and is the SIOT historian.

Alberto Di Martino, MD, PhD, is assistant professor in orthopaedics and trauma surgery at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. His main fields of interests include spine and tumor surgery and basic research. He has authored more than 80 manuscripts, and is coauthor of National Guidelines in osteoncology and spine. He currently is board member of several leading journals in the fields of spine and orthopaedics.

A Rich History

Italy has a rich history of orthopaedics, dating back to Roman times and beyond. Over the years, many Italian orthopaedic surgeons have gained international notoriety for their scientific contributions to orthopaedics and traumatology. For example, Vittorio Putti and Francesco Delitala are recognized worldwide as pioneers of modern orthopaedics. Other renowned Italian orthopaedists include Riccardo Galeazzi for his contributions to the understanding and treatment of scoliosis; Oscar Scaglietti, who was among the first in the world to introduce a surgical treatment method for disk herniation; Giorgio Monticelli, an expert in pediatric and adult hip pathology; Mario Campanacci, renowned for his study of tumors of the musculoskeletal system; Giovanni De Bastiani, pioneer of external fixation; and Renato Bombelli, innovator of the biomechanic and hip surgery.