Mr Dugal James

Orthopaedic Surgeon


Mr Dugal James

Mr James graduated from Melbourne University (MBBS) and did his primary surgical training at the Repatriation Hospital, Melbourne. He completed his Orthopaedic Specialist Training (FRACS) with the Australian Orthopaedic Association and then undertook further subspecialty Fellowships. The first in Knee Arthroscopy / Ligament Reconstruction Surgery was undertaken with Dr Neil Thompson in Sydney; one of Australia’s pioneers of knee arthroscopy. This was followed by a Joint Replacement Fellowship at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in conjunction with Harvard University Boston, USA, under the tutorage of Dick Scott, Tom Thornhill and Fred Ewald. His third placement was a Hip Replacement Fellowship under the mentorship of Robin Ling and the Exeter Group in Exeter, England.

Robotic Assisted Knee Replacement Surgery

Throughout his career, Mr James has pursued an interest the design and development of instrumentation utilized for the performance of Total Knee Replacement surgery. After being involved with the development of conventional mechanical instrumentation for several years he then moved to the utilization of CAS (Computer Aided Surgery) and optical navigation platforms. Over recent years he has been collaborating with a team of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Engineers and Software Technicians developing a Robotic Assisted Surgery platform (RAS) for application in total and partial knee replacement surgery.

Mr James commenced the programs first RAS Total Knee Replacement clinical trials at St John of God hospital in Bendigo in October 2018. Following the successful trial outcome reviews, the RAS platform has since gone on to be approved and released for general use throughout Australasia, the USA, Europe and Asia. With over 15,000 RAS Total Knee procedures now  having been performed internationally the development  group has  directed its focus to Robotic Assisted Unicompartmental Knee Replacement with the first procedures beginning in Bendigo Dec 2020.

Knee Arthroscopy Under Local Anaesthetic

Mr James developed an interest in Knee Arthroscopy under Local Anaesthetic (KALA) in his early post graduate years whilst working in the UK. Although not common in Australia, it is a favoured and popular technique offered in subspecialty centres throughout Europe and North America. In addition to avoiding the need for general or spinal anaesthesia, having their procedure performed under local anaesthetic provides patients an opportunity to see ‘live on screen’ the condition of their knee and discuss their injury and surgery in real time with the surgeon. The majority of knee arthroscopy presentations are suitable for surgery under local anaesthetic. After discussing the surgery required, Mr James leaves the decision on anaesthesia, local verses general anaesthesia up to the patient.

ACL Reconstruction

Mr James has developed and refined a method of hamstring ACL reconstruction that obviates the need for metallic fixation devices. This not only makes the surgery less expensive but allows further MRI scan in the future without image distortion in the presence of metal.

Total Hip Replacement

Mr James is a proponent of small incision, minimally invasive hip replacement surgery.  Where appropriate, he utilises pre-operative 2D to 3D dynamic imaging and CT guided modelling to optimise component sizing and positioning during surgery.

Outside Interests

After returning from his postgraduate fellowships in the US and UK, Mr James took up practice in Bendigo preferring to work in a major regional city rather than a capital city centre. Initially attracted by Bendigo’s Victorian architecture and has since enjoyed the challenge of several restorations. The BOSM practice itself is housed within a charming ‘Victorian era’ School building ‘repurposed’ for the task.

Outside of Orthopaedics Mr James has been ‘Hunting and Collecting’ classic and vintage motorcycles since his teens. He enjoys  the restoration and riding of his old bikes when and wherever the opportunity presents. He has recently  recommissioned the Black Swan Hotel in Bendigo as a vintage motorcycle themed café – bar for like-minded enthusiasts to meet and share their passion.

To make an appointment with Mr Dugal James call our rooms on 03 5442 5288 and select option 1