Message from the AFAS Chairman



Daniël Haverkamp
ESSKA-AFAS Chairman 2020-2022

I am honoured to be selected as Chairman of ESSKA-AFAS, and express my gratitude to all those hard working members who make our Section strong. We see our Section growing in numbers, with the growing interest in Foot and Ankle pathology, and I believe we should continue to spread our expertise in foot and ankle pathology amongst the young.

When we were discussing our plans for 2020-2022, we none of us expected COVID and its disruption. Important activities have been cancelled, and a lot of our members have been personally affected by lock-down. But we shall rise again, and things will return to normal. Meanwhile, we have learned some new techniques. For spreading knowledge, webinars are a good option, although not such fun as meeting friends at congresses and workshops. But we can strike a balance between online activities and real meetings. And the same for courses, although hands-on courses remain the ultimate way to spread knowledge and skills. ESSKA Academy can really enhance this. In the next two years we will focus more on creating this digital source of knowledge. Filling the ESSKA Academy in accordance with the developed ESSKA European Specialists Core Curriculum is one of the most important tasks, and Stephane Guillo is our representative on the Academy’s Editorial Board.

The role of ESSKA-AFAS is to bring together the key figures in sports related ankle and foot pathology, with a special focus on arthroscopy. This European pool of expertise aims to: create the best environment for research, ensure that discoveries and best-techniques are disseminated, improve the profile of sports-related ankle and foot practitioners and enforce professional standards, thus ensuring the best care for patients with sports-related ankle and foot injuries.

To reach this goal and to keep spreading knowledge in our field we need active members, and a Board which is willing to commit time and effort. I feel privileged to have an outstanding team of experts, and many active members.

ESSKA-AFAS 2020-2022 Board:
Chairman: Daniël Haverkamp (The Netherlands)
Past Chairman: James Calder (United Kingdom)
Vice-Chairman: Christopher Pearce (Singapore)
Secretary: Pietro Spennachio (Italy)
Communication: Joao Vide (Portugal)
Educational Secretary: Ákos Kynsburg (Austria)
Research: Francesca Vannini (Italy)

Board members:
Christiaan van Bergen (United Kingdom)
Mike Carmont (The Netherlands)
Stephane Guillo (France)

I hope we will meet each other again in Milan, Warsaw, Paris or one of the meetings in between.

ESSKA-AFAS plans for 2020-2022

We have prepared various activities for 2020-2022. Firstly, the ESSKA Congress in Milan will have Foot and Ankle related Instructional Course Lectures and Symposia. ICL’s will cover such topics as “State of the Art in Ankle Ligament Surgery”, and “State of the Art in Ankle Arthroscopy and Ankle Cartilage Repair”. The faculty are an outstanding group, with international experts as moderators and lecturers. This will have been worth waiting for.

In the meantime, we are preparing for Specialty Days. Our topic will be “SPORTS RELATED INJURIES IN FOOT AND ANKLE – OPTIMISING MANAGEMENT OF TENDON, CARTILAGE AND LIGAMENT INJURIES”, with sessions on medial instability, cartilage of the ankle, peroneal tendons, Achilles tendon and Lis franc injuries. As soon as it is finalised in September, we will post the programme on the website.

For us, as a Section, spreading knowledge and skills is an important task. The best means is hands-on courses. Hence our “All About” cadaveric courses, which we are planning for the coming period. Topics will follow ESSKA ‘s recently published Core Curriculum. A distinction will be made between basic and advanced courses, to satisfy both the experienced and the beginners.

Our alliance with the Ankle Instability Group (AIG) and the Achilles Tendon Study Group (ATSG) has already led to excellent meetings and books, but more is to come. Also our collaboration with the ISCRA in the International Congress on Cartilage Repair of the Ankle has continued since 2012. The congresses are of high standard, and combined well with closed consensus meetings. For the coming period more can be expected from this collaboration. An ICCRA meeting will be organized in Los Angeles, and an Ankle instability Congress will be organized on the topic of medial instability in 2021.

Furthermore, we will continue with our annual Pau Golanó research fellowship, which has been awarded to J. Dahmen for 2020. The selection for 2021 will start in the fall of 2020. The past fellowships were a great success, and resulted in several publications and presentations at ESSKA meetings.

As in the past we shall support many meetings over the next two years, and try to be active. A combined symposium with SICOT is planned for their congress in Budapest. But, also, more local projects are being planned.

As a member of AFAS you could play a role in this, either by providing us with topics and ideas, or by requesting our support for collaboration in local projects. Again, without active members there would be no Section.