Dr Stuart Kirkham is a well-known and experienced senior Orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in disorders of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder – i.e. the upper limb. Dr Kirkham grew up in Sydney and attended Knox Grammar school achieving, much to his surprise, the top mark in NSW for English. He graduated with an MBBS from the University of Sydney medical faculty in 1990.
Dr Kirkham started his career just days after the infamous Newcastle earthquake on 28/12/89 ; and was soon afterwards lucky enough to work at John Hunter Hospital the day it first opened to the public – 1 year ahead of its schedule. He spent 9 years based in Newcastle NSW & its surrounds, where his career focused on surgical roles and orthopaedic surgical training achieving his FRACS in 1999. During His 9 years 1990-1998 as a junior doctor, he worked all over NSW including Newcastle, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Taree, Coffs harbour, Gosford, Belmont, Wallsend. “an unforgettable experience full of rich and valuable life lessons”
Dr Kirkham received the AOA travelling fellowship prize in 1999. He was awarded FAOrthA by the AOA in 2000.
In 1999-2000, he spent a further year of sub-specialty training at the very prestigious Baylor college of medicine Houston Texas USA. Dr Kirkham worked in the unit set up by Rear Admiral Dr David M Lichtman – who is well known for Kienbock’s. Dr Kirkham worked with well known surgeons incl Drs Burkhart, Gartsman, Gabel, Hildreth, JB Bennett , Netscher Kessler and others.
In 2000, Dr Kirkham then returned to Australia and started at Westmead hospital where for approx. 11 years he was responsible for the teaching syllabus of hand and upper limb disorders. Dr Kirkham has taught many orthopaedic and plastic surgery trainees.
Today Dr Kirkham is purely in private practice. He has 4 Sydney locations: Wahroonga, Bella Vista, Mona Vale and Sydney CBD
Interests & Contributions
He is most well-known for his major interests and contributions in:
Carpal Tunnel: he has done endoscopic keyhole CTR for over 23 years and was recently asked to teach the technique to surgeons in Japan.
Scaphoid: published the world’s biggest series of cavitary non unions treated with cancellous grafts – a proud achievement.
Tennis Elbow: Dr Kirkham has suffered Tennis Elbow himself and has extensive knowledge; it’s a research focus. He has a patented implant.
Rotator Cuff: has extensive experience and results to show for it.
Arthritis Surgery: he has a patented arthroplasty currently in prototype stage progress
Frozen Shoulder: he has a research trial underway today
Associations /Professional Memberships
Sydney University life Member Alumni – Currently on the Reunion committee
Royal Australian College of Surgeons
Australian Orthopaedic Association
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
Australian Medical Association (NSW)
Ku Ring Gai District Medical Association – Ex Committee Member 2003
Shoulder Elbow Society of Australia
NSW Hand surgery Association – Ex Secretary 2004
American Society for Surgery of the Hand
Australian Hand Surgery Society
Englert H, Kirkham S, Moore J, Poon TS, Katelaris C, McGill N, Schrieber L, Manolios N, Autologous stem cell transplantation in diffuse scleroderma: impact on hand structure and function, Intern Med J, 2008.
Anandacoomarasamy A, Englert H, Manolios N, Kirkham S, Reconstructive hand surgery for scleroderma joint contractures, J Hand Surg [Am], 2007 Sep;32(7):1107-12.
Tsai N, Kirkham S, Fingertip skin wrinkling – the effect of varying tonicity, J Hand Surg [Br], 2005 Jun;30(3):273-5.
Kirkham SG, Gray RJ, Multiple carpometacarpal dislocations, and an ipsilateral scapho-trapezium-trapezoid fracture-dislocation: a rare pattern of injury, J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2004 Dec;12(2):267-9.
Glucosamine – Review Article, J Hand 2009.
Kirkham S, Millar MJ, Cancellous bone graft and Kirschner wire fixation as a treatment for cavitary-type scaphoid nonunions exhibiting DISI, J Hand 2011.
Kirkham S, Millar M, The normal tendon and ligament anatomy of the lateral elbow implications for tennis elbow syndrome, J Anaesth Surg Res 3.2 (2023): 160-70.
Kirkham S, Konidaris G, A new method for locating the axillary nerve – safety implications for shoulder procedures and vaccinations, ANZJS, submitted for publication, August 2021.
Kirkham, S, Pigmented, Villonodular synovitis of the wrist causing erosion of the carpal bones. A case report, Submission pending
Opening Ceremony, Inaugural Meeting of Combined Australian & American Hand Surgery Societies, Hawaii
EPB Enthesis Injuries, 2nd Combined Australian-American Hand Surgery Societies Meeting, Sydney
Invited Keynote Speaker, South Australian Hand Surgery Society, Adelaide
Tennis Elbow Implant
Outside of work Dr Kirkham has several major passions