"We fit somewhere between the regional spine societies that have limited means to provide continuous and consistent education, and on the other side the education provided by industry with zero-to-little academic credibility."

— Neill van der Linde director for AO Spine in Europe discussing an elaborate patent sale to Synthes (Solothurn, Switzerland/ West Chester, Pennsylvania) in which AO Spine claims it will be able to maintain full academic freedom for events, publications and research but commits to exclusive use of Synthes products for technical workshops, "AO Spine faces high-wire act in its agreement with Synthes," pp. 1, 6.