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James Cashman
Orthopaedic Surgeon
James Cashman

What is your specific area of expertise?

I am an Orthopaedic Surgeon with a particular interest in primary or first time Hip and Knee replacement, as well as revision or repeat hip and knee replacement. I also have an interest in the management of hip problems in younger people, particularly those problems that can be managed without joint replacement.

What's the most rewarding thing about your job?

Orthopaedics is a very satisfying profession, in that the majority of surgeries that we perform lead to immediate improvement in a patient’s quality of life. In particular, hip replacement has been one of the most successful operations to be developed in the last century. Given the advances in our surgical techniques, pain management and rehabilitation, we are now able to replace a patient’s hip, have them home on the same day and be back to normal within 4-6 weeks. To make such a difference in someone’s quality of life in such a short space of time is immensely satisfying.

How does bone development in childhood affect bone health in later life?

One of the main bone issues affecting the development of bones in childhood is rickets, a condition brought on by lack of calcium and vitamin D. This was thought to be a historical condition but still appears today. Children with this condition can have significant deformity, with bowed legs. This is an easily preventable condition when an adequate diet is taken but can have lifelong consequences when neglected. It can lead to significant deformity and disability, requiring multiple operations to correct.

What are your top tips for this type of patient?

The key to preventing this kind of bone condition is adequate dietary intake of calcium and Vitamin D (see Key Nutrients for Bones, Muscles and Joints). The human body requires sunlight to form Vitamin D and Ireland can be lacking in enough sunshine, particularly in the winter. Children with darker skin types are particularly at risk. Recognising those food types that contain or are supplemented with Vitamin D is the main component is healthy bone development.