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João Espregueira-Mendes
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ESSKA President 2012-2014

There's only one way to predict our future: by understanding our past and fulfilling the present.


The future of any organisation relies on its culture, vision and strategy. ESSKA was founded in Berlin in 1982 (as an official body in 1984), dedicated to Arthroscopy and Knee Surgery, expanded to Sports Trauma some years later and more recently Degenerative Knee. However, the identity and the main core of the mission never changed. Today, as always, we stand for the "promotion and exchange of information and research data relating to all practical aspects of joint disorders, particularly in the fields of knee surgery, arthroscopy and sports traumatology. Also our Society has the more particular purpose of enabling its members to improve their skills in arthroscopy, knee surgery and sports traumatology at a European level".

Europe has a vast and engaging history of diversity and integration which spans 47 countries, 27 of which form the European Union and 17 the Eurozone, with more than 800 million people. This diversity means different cultures and levels of education. It also means different habits and patient needs with complex social and political relationships. The increasing longevity, sports activities and trauma in our population, and the number of people with musculoskeletal diseases requiring our help has grown exponentially in recent years. Such patients need protection and help and we must remain solid advocates of them.

We should address this reality by working with the EU and its political decision makers in order to improve the financial resources available for prevention, medical education and differentiated medical treatment in sports trauma and degenerative knee diseases with a special focus on eastern European Countries; through sponsored fellowships, courses and combined meetings we can achieve our goal. In order to accomplish this task we wish to affiliate all European societies of knee surgery, sports traumatology and arthroscopy to ESSKA. We invite their leaders to become members-at-large by establishing privileged partnerships and by offering special benefits to their members. Through these initiatives we want to stimulate the scientific exchange in Europe and to create the network with increasingly stable relationships. Unifying our strengths, sharing identical fundamental values and at the same time respecting our individual regional or national diversities will help position ESSKA as the European umbrella society of choice in the fields of knee surgery, sports traumatology and arthroscopy.

The time is right to work together with UEMS-EFORT-EBOT in orthopaedics certification and re-certification giving contributions in sports trauma, knee surgery and degenerative knee.

We are evaluating the advantages of creating an ESSKA foundation in Luxembourg. Such an organisation could result in an increase in sponsorship from industry and in extrapolating a more diverse revenue base which is out of our scope presently. It could also be profitable for European institutions relationship in convincing them that the investment in our specialty is cost-effective, slowing down the progression of extremely common and potentially disabling diseases.

In the last years, we made a strategic plan for the future that will be updated this year with a medium term vision. We changed our organigram, including Sections (EKA, ESS and AFAS) to better accommodate the European leaderships in those fields.

Our primary goal is education. We have a strong programme for the coming years with more than 70 sponsored fellowships/scholarships, available teaching centres and courses. To our members, we offer free books, current concepts booklets (APP), DVDs (QR), newsletters and the KSSTA journal. We want them to immediately recognise the value of belonging to such an outstanding organisation, profiting from the congresses, expertise, connections, website, multi-centre studies and office. We wish to improve our website with an eLearning Platform to keep abreast of our younger stakeholders.

KSSTA is a recognised journal and we want to strengthen it to be one of the leading journals in the field of Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology and Arthroscopy thus increasing the impact factor. The world continues to focus on electronic publishing so it is in our plans to launch an open access journal for basic research in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine.

There are no secrets for success: it is commitment, belief and persistence. The success of ESSKA should be our enthusiasm and drive. The strength of ESSKA depends on us: our board, sections, committees, office staff and members. The way we volunteer our time and effort will make the difference.
For my part, you can always count on me.
Together, we can make it real.

João Espregueira-Mendes
ESSKA President 2012-2014
Chairman and Professor of the Orthopedic Department of Minho University
and Saúde Atlântica Sports Center - Porto, Portugal.

President's personal corner
President's family


ESSKA Executive Office Luxembourg
Centre Médical - FNM
76, rue d'Eich | L-1460 Luxembourg
Phone: +352 4411 7026 | Fax: +352 4411 7678

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The ESSKA Foundation supports ESSKA education and both national and international research projects in the field of orthopaedic and sports medicine and surgery.