Nicola Maffulli

Professor of Trauma and Orthopaedics & Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MD MS PhD FRCS(Orth)

Year qualified:1983

Specialty

Personal profile

"Considered one of the world's best sports-injury surgeons, Maffulli is a medical consultant for Italian football club Fiorentina, and specialises in soft tissue knee surgery, foot, ankle and tendon surgery, and arthroscopies".

Prof Nicola Maffulli received his basic medical degree from the University of Napoli Medical School, Italy, in 1983. Bent on becoming a molecular biologist, he discovered Orthopaedics, and embarked in a surgical career. After a stint at the Third Department of Physiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Nicola moved to the UK in 1985.

He was appointed Clinical Lecturer in Sports Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children and the Institute of Child Health, and at the London Hospital between 1987 and 1990, leading the clinical team in charge of the Training of Young Athletes (TOYA) study, the topic of his PhD.

In 1991, he was appointed an Orthopaedic Registrar in the North East Thames Rotation, and in 1992 moved to Aberdeen as a Senior Registrar. Following an Associate Professorship in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery in Hong Kong, in Mid 1996, Nicola was back in Aberdeen as a Senior Lecturer in Orthopaedics. In 2001, he moved to Keele University as the Professor of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, establishing an extremely productive research programme. In December 2008, Nicola returned to London as the Centre Lead and Professor of Sports and Exercise Medicine: a bit like coming back home. The Centre was established in the early 1980s by Mr John B King, who trained Nicola and instilled in him the love for Sports Trauma.

More than 400 Sports Physicians in the UK and abroad have graduated from the Course at the Centre, and many have progressed to Chief Medical Officers in several sports and at the Olympics. All retain close links with the Centre, where they return each year for the Annual Scientific Conference. An ESSKA Sports Medicine Travelling Fellow in 1997 and an ABC Travelling Fellow in 1998, Prof Maffulli has been the President of the British Orthopaedic Sports Trauma Association, and sits on many committees in Sports Medicine and in Trauma and Orthopaedics. He is an Editorial Board Member of some 10 Sports Medicine and Trauma and Orthopaedic Journals.

Prof Maffulli's research interests are varied, and reflect his training in molecular biology, cardiovascular physiology, and musculo-skeletal medicine. The recent research thrust has been in the genetics of orthopaedic conditions, in tissue engineering of tendons, and mesenchimal stem cell therapy for tendinopathy. Prof Maffulli's surgical interests lie mainly on the management of tendon disorders and of soft tissue injuries of the knee and foot and ankle, and has developed several minimally invasive and endoscopic techniques in orthopaedics and in Sports Medicine.During the years, Prof Maffulli has established a host of collaborations in the UK and abroad, and has lead multidisciplinary research teams in Sports and Exercise Medicine, with a recent interest in genetics of sports, tissue engineering of soft tissues, and mesenchimal stem cells therapy. Prof Maffulli has published close to 500 articles in peer reviewed journals, and has edited several textbooks, the latest one Minimally Invasive Foot and Ankle Surgery. A quick search in PubMed will give a picture of his research output.

Professor Nicola Maffulli was selected by The London Organising Committee to lead the Orthopaedic Sports Foot and Ankle Surgery Service at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. During the games Professor Maffuli lead a team of six consultants in the Orthopaedic Sports Foot and Ankle Surgery Service and was based at the ExCeL centre where he was the Field of Play Doctor for the Olympic Wrestling Tournament.

Professional Membership



  • BMA

  • FRCS Ed

  • FRCS Engl

Clinical Interests



  • Arthroscopic Surgery

  • Tendonitis with Sports Injuries

  • New symptoms of osteoarthritis in young patients

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