Johan Bellemans

Professor Johan Bellemans, MD, PhD, Dr. Med., is former head of the Orthopaedic and Traumatology Department at the Catholic University Hospitals Leuven, and current Consultant Surgeon at the ZOL Hospitals Genk Belgium, and co-founder of GRIT Belgian Sports Clinic Leuven.

His practice focusses on primary as well as complex knee surgery, including knee arthroplasty and sports orthopaedics. He holds a Lecturing Chair at Hasselt University Belgium.

His academic career started in 1997 with the public defence of his PhD thesis “Osseointegration in porous coated knee arthroplasty”. At the age of 33, he became the youngest professor in surgery that was ever nominated at the Catholic University Leuven.

Professor Bellemans is one of the most well known knee surgeons all over the world. Several of the recent insights on knee pathology are attributed to him and his group. His work on the influence of “posterior condylar offset” induced a breakthrough in understanding the frequent problem of limited flexion after knee arthroplasty. His further work on kinematics of the natural and replaced knee was the basis for many of the contemporary knee arthroplasty designs. His work on patella alta made doctors understand why this condition causes anterior knee pain, and more recently, his discovery in 2013 of the anterolateral ligament of the knee was international headline news all over the world.

Prof. Bellemans is also past-president of the European Knee Society and founding member. 

In his free time Prof. Bellemans is a dedicated admirer of international sports.

He competed himself as a sailor in the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, where he represented Belgium in the 470 2-man dinghy together with his brother. 

Prof. Bellemans was Team Physician of the Belgian Olympic Team at the Beijing and London Olympics in 2008 and 2012, and became Medical Director for Team Belgium at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Prof. Bellemans is married to his wife Lieve since 1989, and together they have 3 children, Koen, Inge and Tom, all in their early twenties.