Ingrid van der Geest appointed professor of Orthopedics

Ingrid van der Geest appointed professor of Orthopedics
Ingrid van der Geest appointed professor of Orthopedics
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Wed May 1, 09:00

General

NIJMEGEN – Orthopedic surgeon Ingrid van der Geest has been appointed professor of Orthopedics, in particular Orthopedic Oncology, at Radboudumc / Radboud University. Within her research line, she focuses on the most optimal treatment of cartilage tumors in the bone and on the treatment of metastases in the bone.

The patients treated by the orthopedic surgeons at Radboudumc have various conditions, ranging from spinal disorders, joint deformities to bone tumors. In addition, Radboud University Medical Center is one of the centers where children receive orthopedic care.

“We have a major referral function in the region and operate on patients who are already known here due to complex conditions, or patients with a complex orthopedic problem. Many trauma patients are also cared for at the Radboud university medical center, which means there is intensive cooperation between the trauma surgery and orthopedics departments,” says Van der Geest, who has been head of the Orthopedics department since March 1, 2023.

Musculoskeletal pain

In addition, education is an important branch for Van der Geest and colleagues, and this goes beyond the training of the orthopedic surgeons of the future. Particularly during the study of medicine and biomedical sciences, knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, the complex of bones, skeletal muscles, joints, capsules, cartilage and ligaments, is of great importance, according to Van der Geest.

“According to the WHO, musculoskeletal pain is in the top three with the greatest impact on people’s daily functioning. That is why thorough and sufficient knowledge of the musculoskeletal system is also very important, for example among general practitioners and company doctors. We provide that education, so that some of the patients can be helped in primary care.”

Monitor tumors with MRI scans

Ingrid van der Geest’s line of research focuses on cartilage tumors in the bone. These tumors occur in approximately 300 patients per year. In 250 of them the tumor is not malignant, but falls into the ‘intermediate’ class.

For a long time, these tumors were surgically removed, but Van der Geest’s research made it clear that an intervention is not always necessary, because the tumor does not grow and is not malignant. “This was really good news. In most patients the tumor did not grow, in some only a few millimeters in a few years. That is why we now advise not to operate, but to continue to monitor patients with MRIs.”

This research continues, because the MRI scans provide a lot of information. Van der Geest wants to use this to determine how long and how often patient check-ups are necessary. She also wants to determine even more precisely which treatment is needed for which patient. “In this way, on the one hand, we can cure patients with surgery and on the other hand, we can spare patients an operation for a benign abnormality in the bone,” says Van der Geest.

In other research by Van der Geest, she looks at metastases in the bone as a result of, for example, breast cancer or prostate cancer. “The life expectancy of these patients is often much longer, even if they have metastases. But these metastases in the bone, bone metastases, are often very painful and have a major impact on the quality of life. Good treatment is therefore very important.”

Van der Geest works with a computer model that calculates the chance that a bone will break as a result of a metastasis. “This BOS score is being implemented by more and more hospitals. This allows us to really improve the care for these patients.”

Van der Geest also develops and researches models that allow her to better understand tumors in the bone, allowing her to treat more specifically. “We don’t always know why a tumor behaves the way it does. Why is a tumor sometimes malignant and why not? If we develop a better understanding of this, we can improve treatments.” Because that is what she ultimately wants to do: give patients the right treatment that keeps their quality of life as optimal as possible.

Career

Ingrid van der Geest studied Medicine at Radboud University in Nijmegen. She obtained her PhD there for research into bone tumors (title thesis: Bone and soft tissue tumors – Results of cryosurgical treatment and quality of life studies).

She was trained as an orthopedic surgeon in the Regional Training Group Orthopedics East, a partnership between the Sint Maartenskliniek, Radboud University Medical Center and Rijnstate. Since 2011 she has been a staff member of the Orthopedics department of Radboud university medical center. She has been head of the orthopedics department since March 1, 2023.

Her appointment as professor of Orthopedics will take effect on April 1, 2024 for a period of five years.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Ingrid van der Geest appointed professor Orthopedics

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