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Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine

Our goal is to keep people mobile as long as possible by improving therapeutic interventions. We study risk factors and (molecular) processes of skeletal growth & development disorders, sport & traumatic injuries and osteoarthritis.

About our department

Our research


Osteoarthritis is a progressive and degenerative disease of the joints that causes impaired mobility and pain. It affects all joint tissues: cartilage, bone, synovium, tendons and ligaments. How these changes are orchestrated is not fully understood. We currently have no cure for osteoarthritis. At the end stage, joint replacement surgery is the main treatment option. By gaining more insight in osteoarthritis etiology, we aim to develop new treatments that can prevent the development of OA or delay the need for joint replacement surgery.


Sports & traumatic injuries

More and more patients are consulting sports physicians and orthopedic surgeons for injuries of cartilage, bone, tendon or ligaments due to trauma or sports. When these injuries are left untreated, there is a significant risk for the development of degenerative joint diseases. Our research focusses on the effectiveness of different treatment options and the development of new treatments to regenerate the damaged structures.


Skeletal growth and development

Changes in the joint shape and bone density in the developing joint are studied to relate observed joint changes to clinical symptoms, progression of the disease, environmental factors and genetic factors. To improve treatment, it is of importance to understand the processes that take place when the joint develops. Pathologies of the hip that occur in childhood and adolescence, such as dysplasia, CAM impingement, Perthes disease and slipped capital femoral epiphysis, have our special attention.

Principal Investigators

Research lines

Research Line "Osteoarthritis"

  • Study early phases of osteoarthritis to stop progression to chronic end-stage osteoarthritis or reverse this process
  • Improve the surgical and non-surgical treatment of OA
  • Develop new biological treatment methods
  • Develop methods for the early-stage recognition of OA


Research Line "Sport and Traumatic Injuries"

  • Determine risk factors for – and the long-term consequences of – sports injuries and trauma-related injuries 
  • Improve surgical and non-surgical treatment options for sport and traumatic injuries
  • Improve and develop regenerative treatments for cartilage, bone and tendon/ligament injuries


Research Line "Skeletal Growth and Development"

  • Unravel the etiopathogenesis of joint development and the development of deformities during growth
  • Improve treatment choices for children with growth and developmental disorders



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Beweegbord project

More information will follow

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Research project: To study whether a high volume injection without corticosteroids improves clinical outcome in addition to usual care for adults with chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy.

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Description will follow


To develop a 'Mobility and Physical activity Telemonitoring System' and determine its (cost-) effectiveness

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To examine the effect of a multifactorial, online injury prevention programme on the number of running-related injuries (RRIs) in recreational runners.

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Research project: To compare the effectiveness of progressive tendon-loading exercises (PTLE) with eccentric exercise therapy (EET) in patients with patellar tendinopathy.

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Microfet2 Stabilizer project

Development of a stabillizer for the Microfet2, a hand-held dynamometer to measure accurately and reliable the force of quadriceps muscle. This project is in collaboration with Create4Care and the department of Medical Technology of the Erasmus MC



To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the optimized, treat-to-target PPT strategy in TKA and THA patients compared to usual PPT. The hypothesis is that with the optimized strategy superior functional outcome can be achieved to usual care, with lower costs (superiority study).

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Research towards individualized treatment recommendation in patients with an anterior cruciate ligament rupture.



Patients with a clinically suspected scaphoid fracture and normal initial radiographs are treated with 2 weeks below-elbow cast. However, only 10% of these patients has eventually a scaphoid fracture. Therefore, we are treating most patients unnecessary.



Telefysio is a long-term phased dynamic project to develop, implement and evaluate a digital physical therapy application to be used before, during, and after hospitalization.

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Treatment of Achilles tendinopathy – a living systematic review and network meta-analysis

Research project: Evaluation of the comparative effectiveness of all available treatments for Achilles tendinopathy.

Doctoral theses

Doctoral thesis

Eggerding, V. (2021, June).  Optimal treatment for patients after anterior cruciate ligament rupture. Prom/Coprom:  Prof.dr. S.M. Bierma-Zeinstra, Dr. M. Reijman, Dr. D.E. Meuffels.  https://repub.eur.nl/pub/135515


van Klij, P. (2021, March 10). The development of the non-perfect hip in young athletes. Prom/Coprom: Prof.dr. J.A.N. Verhaar, Dr. R. Agricola.Repub P. van Klij, embargo


Vainieri, ML (2021, February 18). Towards Cartilage Regeneration: Biomaterial-Assisted Cell-Free Approach in a Physiological Joint-like Environment. Prom/Coprom: Prof.dr. G.J.V.M. van Osch. https://repub.eur.nl/pub/131288


Van der Vlist, AC (2021, January 20) Achilles Tendinopathy: risk factors, imaging, and treatment. Prom/Coprom: Prof.dr. J.A.N. Verhaar, Dr. R.J. de Vos. https://repub.eur.nl/pub/133300


Fokkema, T. (2020, December 2). Prognosis and Prevention of Injuries in Recreational Runners. Prom/Coprom: Prof.dr.S.M. Bierma-Zeinstra, M. van Middelkoop, R.J. de Vos https://repub.eur.nl/pub/124642


Tolk, JJ  (2020, June 2). Expectations and Outcome in Knee and Hip Arthroplasty. Prom/Coprom: S.M. Bierma-Zeinstra, M. Reijman, R.P.A. Janssen. https://repub.eur.nl/pub/127241


Eijgenraam SM (2020, January 22). The Meniscus Matters - Novel insights into imaging and treatment of meniscal pathology. Prom/coprom: Prof. S.M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra, Dr. E.H.G. Oei, Dr. M. Reijman en Dr. D.E. Meuffels https://repub.eur.nl/pub/120794


Suijkerbuijk MAM (2020, January 8) Hamstring Tendon Regeneration Following Harvest for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Prom/coprom: Prof.dr.G.J.V.M. van Osch, Dr. D.E. Meuffels, Dr. Y.M. Bastiaansen-Jenniskens https://repub.eur.nl/pub/121752


v Oldenrijk J. (2019, May 21) Short Incisions and Short Stems in Total Hip Arthroplasty. Prom/coprom: Prof.dr.C.N. van Dijk, dr. M.U. Schafroth, dr. R.W. Poolman https://www.orthopeden.org/downloads/654/proefschrift-jakob-van-oldenrijk.pdf?view=active


Fahmy-Garcia S.  (2019, May 2019) Towards in situ bone tissue engineering : an injectable system for protein delivery. Prom/coprom: Prof.dr. G.J.V.M. van Osch, Prof. Dr.J.P.T.M. van Leeuwen, Dr. E. Farrell, Dr. M. van Driel https://repub.eur.nl/pub/116479


Mumcuoglu, Z. D. (2018, May 9). Development of an injectable slow release system for  bone morphogenetic protein-2. Prom./coprom.: Prof. Dr. G.J.V.M. van Osch & S.G. Kluijtmans. https://repub.eur.nl/pub/105787


Pleumeekers, M. M.   (2018, juni 29). Face it: Cell-based therapy for the reconstruction of cartilage defects in the head and neck area. Prom./coprom.: Prof. Dr. G.J.V.M. van Osch & KS Stok. https://repub.eur.nl/pub/105992


Utomo, L.  (2018, september 18). Macrophage Phenotypes in Degenerative Joint Diseases. Prom./coprom.: Prof. Dr. G.J.V.M. van Osch, Prof. Dr. J.A.N. Verhaar & Dr. Y.M. Bastiaansen-Jenniskens. https://repub.eur.nl/pub/106448


Boersema, G.S.A. (2017, September 13). Major Abdominal Surgical Complications : Innovative Approaches. Supervisor(s): Prof. Dr. J.F. Lange, Prof. Dr. G.J. Kleinrensink, Dr. Y.M. Bastiaansen-Jenniskens & Prof.Dr. J. Jeekel. - https://repub.eur.nl/pub/100857


Dorleijn, D.M.J. (2017, January 25). Hip Osteoarthritis : symptomatic presentation and non-operative treatment. Supervisor(s): Prof. Dr. S.M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra, Dr. P.A.J. Luijsterburg & Dr. P.K. Bos. - https://epubs.ogc.nl/?epub=d.dorleijn%20(Metis)


Grotenhuis, N. (2017, October 11). New Models for Patient-specific Evaluation of the Effect of Biomaterials on Macrophages. Supervisor(s): Prof. Dr. G.J.V.M. van Osch, Prof. Dr. J.F. Lange & Dr. Y.M. Bastiaansen-Jenniskens. - https://repub.eur.nl/pub/101852


Vos, BC de (2017, February 7). Battling Obesity : Efforts in preventing knee osteoarthritis. Supervisor(s): Prof. Dr. S.M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra & Dr. J. Runhaar. - https://repub.eur.nl/pub/95488


Wei, W. (2017, October 20). Adipose tissue and the knee? : role of inflammation on joint degeneration and cartilage repair. Supervisor(s): Prof. Dr. G.J.V.M. van Osch, Prof. Dr. J.A.N. Verhaar & Dr. Y.M. Bastiaansen-Jenniskens. - https://repub.eur.nl/pub/102357


Windt, A.E. van der (2017, March 29). Calcineurin Inhibition at Physiological Osmolarity: Toward improving cartilage regeneration. EUR (209 pag.) Supervisor(s): Prof. Dr. Ir. H.H. Weinans & Prof. Dr. J.A.N. Verhaar. - https://repub.eur.nl/pub/98466


Kroon, L. de  (2017, October 23). A dive into TGHß signaling components during generation and degeneration of cartilage. Supervisors; van der Kraam PM, Van Osch GJVM, Narcisi R, Blaney Davidson N. - No link available


Connective Tissue Repair Lab

News, events and awards

Our news

Upcoming defenses

December 2, 2021: Maarten Leijs

Intra-Articular Application of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis — The Next Step.

Maarten Cover

The research described in this thesis is a step towards a feasible cell therapy for OA. Culture-expanded MSCs appear to be safe. The OA environment primarily stimulates the immunomodulatory activity of MSCs. Encapsulation of non-autologous MSCs in combination with imaging techniques opens new possibilities for minimally invasive longitudinal follow-up studies in patients for the treatment of OA. This work stimulates further development of therapeutic delivery systems in OA. This is not limited to cell therapy, but also includes new cell-free constructs with, for example, cell secretome/conditioned medium, microvesicles and exosomes of MSCs. Further research into the effects of these treatments in different stages of osteoarthritis will have to take place in order to ultimately arrive at an effective injectable therapy for osteoarthritis.


Wu Wei:w.wei@erasmusmc.nl

Joris Verkouteren: jorisverkouteren@hotmail.com


December 10, 2021; Joost Peerbooms

Platelet-Rich Plasma in Musculoskeletal Disorders; 'Trombocytenrijk plasma bij musculoskeletale aandoeningen'. 

Boekje Peerbooms

In this thesis, the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in the treatment of some musculoskeletal disorders is evaluated. Several studies are described to improve knowledge about the basic principles of PRP and to demonstrate its advantages and disadvantages in various applications. 
Based on the studies presented in this thesis, our conclusion is that PRP injection outperforms corticosteroid injection when used for tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis. However, this does not definitively prove the positive effect of PRP injections. Negative effects of corticosteroid injections have been found, creating a bias towards the effectiveness of PRP. Future studies should form a real control group. Over the last few decades, PRP has made a place for itself in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. However, until now, studies regarding PRP have often been of limited quality. We recommend that future studies provide a detailed, precise, and stepwise description of the PRP preparation protocol used. Moreover, a standardized rehabilitation protocol should be used with all patients to promote post-injection uniformization. These steps will yield unambiguous comparisons between future studies and more accurate information on the true potential of PRP. Future studies should also include adverse effects, patient satisfaction, cost effectiveness, and quality of life measures among the primary outcomes. 


Roland van Ardenne rfvanardenne@hotmail.com

Pieter van der Woude  pvdwoude@gmail.com



Postdoc Researchers

PhD students

Basic research

Mauricio Ferrao Blanco
Sohrab Khatab
Maarten Leijs
Chantal Voskamp
Tim Wesdorp
Jietao Xu

Clinical research

Britt Barvelink
Michiel van Buuren
Abigail Cohen
Eline van Es
Sabine van der Graaff
Lichelle Groot
Mark van Outeren
Joost Verschueren
Floris de Vos
Annika Willems