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Willems, Annika

J.A. (Annika) Willems, PhD candidate

PhD candidate

  • Department
  • Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
  • Focus area
  • Ankle arthritis and scoliosis
External Profile



After finishing my study Human Movement Sciences in 2015, I started working at the department of Orthopedic surgery as a PhD-student. My projects are related to patients with ankle osteoarthritis. We have performed a multi center RCT in patients with end-stage osteoarthritis who are indicated for an ankle arthrodesis. As bone union problems are often seen after this surgery, we tried to improve bone healing after ankle arthrodesis by applying extra-corporeal shock wave therapy. Also, sham extra-corporeal shock wave therapy was performed for the controls. Furthermore, I am focusing on the lack of consensus considering bone union. Although bone union a widely studied subject, there is still no general consensus on when a fracture, osteotomy of arthrodesis has healed. Also, we are studying the long term-effects of ankle arthrodesis on adjacent joints. Next to my PhD-projects, I am involved in a RCT in children with Scoliosis. 

Education and career

MSc Human movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam

Teaching activities

Supervising BSc medicine students and minor orthopaedic sports traumatology

Current research projects

SPARKLE-study and FIXIT-study