profile image

Dr. R.J. (Robert-Jan) de Vos MD, PhD


I am a sports medicine physician at Erasmus MC University Medical Centre. My clinical work is focused on diagnosis and management of sports injuries. 

My scientific career is aimed at improving prevention and treatment of sports injuries, with a specific focus on imaging and treatment of tendon injuries (tendinopathies). I recently initiated a foundation for sports injuries in collaboration with Erasmus MC Foundation. My mission is to improve the prevention and treatment of chronic tendinopathies using a personalised medicine approach.

Fields of expertise

Sports injuries with a specific expertise in treatment of tendon injuries.

Education and career 

I graduated cum laude as medical doctor in 2008. After that I was trained as scientific researcher and sports medicine physician in Medical Centre Haaglanden in Leidschendam. After completion of my medical specialty I performed a clinical fellowship at the Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine hospital in Doha, Qatar. Since January 2016 I am working as sports medicine physician at the department of Orthopedics and Sports medicine at Erasmus MC. I initiated the development of the sports medicine section within our department and I am currently section leading the Sports Medicine unit. As medical coordinator of the Centre for tendon diseases and multidisciplinary sports injury clinic, I am warranting tertiary sports medicine care in the Erasmus MC University Medical Centre. 

I obtained my PhD in 2010 on Imaging and treatment of Chronic Midportion Achilles Tendinopathy. Since July 2014, I am working as scientific researcher at the department of Orthopedics and Sports medicine at Erasmus MC. I have published more than 80 international scientific articles, I am leading an international consortium on core outcome measures in Achilles tendinopathy and I am currently associate editor for the highest ranked sports medicine journal (British Journal of Sports Medicine). I supervised 2 PhD students and I am currently supervising 6 PhD students on projects related to prevention and treatment of sports injuries. In the past 5 years I also supervised more than 20 Maser students and Technical medicine students. I have given invited lectures at major Sports Medicine conferences like the ESSKA congress (Amsterdam, 2014), the Barça Sports Medicine Conference (Barcelona, 2019) and the annual Danish Sports Medicine congress (Copenhagen, 2020). Since July 2021 I am appointed as Associate Professor. 

Teaching activities 

My core teaching activities can be divided into four parts. First, I teach medical students and technical students on sports medicine healthcare topics. I am the coordinator of the 10-week Erasmus MC Minor “Orthopedics and Sports Medicine ”. The second part of my teaching activities is aimed at improving knowledge of medical residents. I provide courses on sports and tendon injuries for the registrars general medical practice, the Dutch National Institute of Sports Medicine (NIOS) and Central Course Orthopedic Surgery (CCOC). The third part of my teaching actions is aimed at improving regional healthcare through sports medicine courses for primary care providers. I am one of the coordinators of the bi-annual sports medicine scientific evening (Erasmus MC “sportrefereerdavond”), I offer sports medicine workshops and masterclasses for residents in general practice, podiatry and physiotherapy. I provide annual education in sports medicine for specialised general practitioners (Kaderopleiding bewegingsapparaat). The fourth part has an international focus. I prepared an accredited BMJ Learning Module  on Chronic pain in the Achilles region. I also recorded 3 BJSM Podcast interviews on treatment of tendon injuries and muscle injuries. I provided 2 workshops on management of tendon injuries for (para)medical sports medicine healthcare providers at one of the largest sports medicine conferences (the Danish Sportskongres 2020)

Other positions 

Medical consulent SBV Excelsior Rotterdam Football Club, Associate editor British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM), Guest editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine for special Dutch issues (2014 and 2018), Chairman of the national multidisciplinary guideline ‘Achilles tendinopathy', Member of the national multidisciplinary guideline ‘Achilles tendon rupture', Member of the Task force scientific agenda Dutch Sports Medicine, Scientific advisor for clinical tendinopathy trials of Novartis, Review panel member of the European Science Foundation (ESF), Review panel member of the Quality Foundation of the Dutch Federation of Medical Specialists (SKMS), Review panel member for the Dutch healthcare organization (Zorginstituut Nederland) on the implementation of PRP injections for epicondylar tendinopathy as insured treatment, Member organizing committee of the annual Rotterdam Marathon Sports Medicine Congress.

Key Publications

de Vos RJ, Weir A, van Schie HT, Bierma-Zeinstra SM, Verhaar JA, Weinans H, Tol JL. Platelet-rich plasma injection for chronic Achilles tendinopathy: a randomized controlled trial.  JAMA. 2010; 303(2): 144-9.

van der Vlist AC, van Oosterom RF, van Veldhoven PLJ, Bierma-Zeinstra SMA, Waarsing JH, Verhaar JAN, de Vos RJ. Effectiveness of a high volume injection as treatment for chronic Achilles tendinopathy: randomised controlled trial.  BMJ. 2020; 9; 370: m3027.

Breda SJ, Oei EHG, Zwerver J, Visser E, Waarsing E, Krestin GP, de Vos RJ. Effectiveness of progressive tendon-loading exercise therapy in patients with patellar tendinopathy: a randomised clinical trial.  Br J Sports Med 2020; 55(9): 501-509.

Cloosterman KLA, Fokkema T, de Vos RJ, Visser E, Krastman P, IJzerman J, Koes BW, Verhaar JAN, Bierma-Zeinstra SMA, van Middelkoop M. Educational online prevention programme (the SPRINT study) has no effect on the number of running-related injuries in recreational runners: a randomised-controlled trial. Br J Sports Med. 2022; 56(12): 676-682.

van der Vlist AC, Winters M, Weir A, Ardern CL, Welton NJ, Caldwell DM, Verhaar JAN, de Vos RJ. Which Treatment Is Most Effective for Patients With Achilles Tendinopathy? A Living Systematic Review With Network Meta-Analysis of 29 Randomised Controlled Trials.  Br J Sports Med. 2020; 55(5): 249-256.

de Vos RJ, van der Vlist AC, Zwerver J, Meuffels DE, Smithuis F, van Ingen R, van der Giesen F, Visser E, Balemans A, Pols M, Veen N, den Ouden M, Weir A. Dutch multidisciplinary guideline on Achilles tendinopathy. Br J Sports Med. 2021; 55(20): 1125-1134.