Within the department of Orthopaedics there is one research theme.

1. Programmacode – Outcome, Biomechanics and Imaging (Department of Orthopaedics)
    Principal investigator(s):
Prof. dr. R.G.H.H. Nelissen, Dr. P.D.S. Dijkstra, Dr. ir. E.R. Valstar, and Dr. T.P.M. Vliet Vlieland

2. Aim and focus

The aim of the program is to improve outcome and safety of orthopaedic interventions by developing, evaluating and implementing imaging techniques, surgical techniques based on biomechanical models and conservative management strategies. The focus of the biomechanical and imaging research (e.g. RSA) is on the prevention, detection, and repair of endoprosthetic loosening. The target groups for our research include patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, brachial plexus injuries as well as orthopaedic malignancies and benign bone tumors. Furthermore, translational research with bone tumors is performed in collaboration with the departments of Pathology, Oncology and Radiology. 

3. Position in international context

We play a leading role in the international radiostereometry (RSA) community: an international RSA research network was established. Currently an ISO workgroup is led by the department, which is establishing an ISO standard for RSA. Our RSA software is used in more than 40 international centres and in more than 100 studies.

Moreover, we have a leading role in the field of arthritis care research, by serving in the executive boards related to the non-surgical management (EULAR Standing Committee of Health Professionals in Rheumatology) and the surgical management of arthritis (ERASS). As for basic research (Biomechanics and Imaging) we have a position within the executive board of the European Orthopaedic Research Society (EORS) and the European Arthroplasty Registry (EAR). Two academic positions are taken at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, a adjunct professor ship (Nelissen) and an associate professorship (Valstar). Our collaboration with Oxford University (RSA and loosening membranes as well as orthopaedic oncology) fits perfectly in the official collaboration of Leiden University and Oxford University.

In addition, we have been and are active in European projects (FP6: DeSSOS project; FP7: MXL project; FP7: MyoAge; DG SANCO second programme of community action in the field of health (2008-2013), AIF (Atlantic International Fund) and European Commission ( EUMUSC. NET Project). As well as global projects, ICOR (International Consortium Orthopaedic Registries) which is led by the FDA.

 4. Content / highlights / achievements

  • 2004: The world’s first gene therapy study in orthopaedics (for removal of fibrous tissue in minimally invasive refixation of loosened prostheses)
  • 2007: Edward Valstar receives prestigious VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) a project on “Minimally Invasive reification of Hip Prostheses”
  • 2008: Thea Vliet Vlieland receives Distinguished Scholar Award; Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, American College of Rheumatology, USA
  • 2009: Atlantic International Fund, for the propagation of RSA as a tool for patient safety (PhD project)
  • 2009: Edward Valstar receives prestigious MXL grant from STW a project on “Novel preoperative planning and intraoperative guidance system for shoulder replacement surgery”
  • 2011: Annafonds |NOREF price for Edward Valstar for “Outstanding research on joint prostheses"
  • 2011: Rob Nelissen, invited speaker by FDA at the ICOR (initiative FDA) on the use of RSA as a tool for patient safety 

5. Future themes

  • Early detection and intervention in mechanical loosening of joint prostheses?: today, loosening is treated in an endstage phase of a long painful process in which bone tissue is severely damaged. We will focus our efforts towards early detection and early intervention of loosening.
  • Optimizing conservative and surgical management strategies in osteoarthritis.
  • Outcome research in orthopaedic oncology
  • Developing a prediction model for the outome after conservative and surgical intervention in hip and knee osteoarthritis patients

 6. Cohesion within LUMC

This translational research is done in close collaboration with Delft University of Technology and the Division of Image Processing. Within the LUMC departments of Radiology / LKEB, Pathology, Oncology, Rheumatology, Rehabilitation, Geriatrics, Medical Decision Making, Clinical Epidemiology.