One hundred years ago, on 1 May 1898, the Netherlands Orthopaedic Association was founded. This was prompted by the view that general surgeons paid insufficient attention to the treatment of the locomotor system; they were permitted to join the new association, however, at any rate until 1947. It was especially in the last 30 years that orthopaedic surgery underwent major changes. The most striking novelty was arthroplastic surgery. There have also been developments in the treatment of spinal abnormalities, rheumatological surgery, sports medicine, oncology and traumatology.