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Our ultimate goal is to help patients to restore mobility and participate in society again after orthopaedic treatment.

The prescription of physical activity in clinical care has been advocated through the paradigm of “exercise is medicine”. However, it is unclear which orthopaedic treatment provides the best conditions for our patients to restore their physical activity level, and how physical activity within our patient group can be improved. We address this by investigating the effect of orthopaedic treatments and exercise interventions on health, functional outcomes and (determinants of) physical activity.

Our research aims to:

  • Identify adequate methods to measure (recovery of) physical activity
  • Investigate which orthopaedic treatment provides favorable conditions for restoring physical activity
  • Investigate the determinants of physical activity before and after orthopaedic treatment
  • Develop, implement and test (online) interventions aiming to promote pre- and postoperative physical activity

How our research benefits to society

With our findings we provide more insight in orthopaedic treatments to help patients to be able to restore their physical activity level again. It will contribute to the development of (online) tailored interventions aiming to optimise physical activity before and after orthopaedic treatments.

Our ultimate aim is to integrate exercise medicine in the treatment of patients, by implementing assessment and promotion of physical activity in clinical care. Mobility rates and participation in society can be increased after orthopaedic treatment.

  • Only a few patients will stay in a hospital or institution for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation at home is less expensive and more pleasant for the patient, because he can remain in the familiar environment.

    The Smove project is intended for patients who are rehabilitating at home after hip or knee surgery. These patients require long-term medical monitoring. Smove measures the movements of these patients. Based on the data, healthcare providers can remotely evaluate the patient's recovery and use clinical treatments more effectively. This reduces the costs of healthcare and reduces the physical and psychological burden on patients.

  • Exercise medicine intends to support patients with healthcare problems to cure or reduce disease burden, complications and the intake of medicine. However, implementation of exercise medicine is hampered by time constraints and competing priorities of treating physicians.

    The LOFIT project will develop and evaluate the (cost-) effectiveness of a ‘lifestyle front office’ (LFO), and integrate this office in secondary/tertiary care for patients with non-communicable diseases. In a LFO, dedicated LifeStyle Brookers (LSBs) build in dialogue with the patient motivation for lifestyle change and refer patients to local community-based lifestyle change initiatives (neighborhood lifestyle coaches, etc.), while always maintaining a feedback loop with the treating physician.


  • Sufficient physical activity provides many benefits, including improved physical function, reduced risk of falling, reduced risk of death and improved cognitive function. Physical activity is key for a healthy recovery. People who have gone through a long period of inactivity because of a Total Hip Replacement (THR) or Total Knee Replacement (TKR) have the possibility to get disabilty due to servere osteoarthritis.

    The overall goal of the PAIR project is to share the knowledge, methods and approaches on an European level. To support patients to regain functioning optimal physical activity and participation in social and vocational domains after THKR or TKR.

  • Our overarching ambition is that orthopaedic education and orthopaedic training make a relevant contribution to improving the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic abnormalities. Therefore, an entirely new line of research has been started into how we learn to operate and how we can teach others to operate more optimally. This research is very innovative and takes place in the field of education, training and research.


Els Jilleba Secretary of the department of Orthopedics

University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Department of Orthopaedics
PO Box 30.001
9700 RB Groningen
The Netherlands

Visiting address
University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Department of Orthopaedics
Hanzeplein 1
9713 GZ Groningen

See also: LOFIT and PAIR