I was born in Ireland, the second of six sons. Both my parents were doctors – my father having served in the RAMC during World War II, was for a time Anaesthetist to Sir John Charnley. My mother was a family doctor.
I went to medical school in Dublin and qualified with the Royal College of Surgeons in 1976 and, like many before and after me, worked in various fields of orthopaedics before specialising in hip problems of children and adults.
In the 1980s, while trainees, I worked with Derek McMinn developing the idea of metal-on-metal hip resurfacing and made the first wooden prototype. I then went to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada to work with Bob Salter, where I developed and perfected my skills in pelvic osteotomy surgery – or in simpler terms, surgical correction of the hip and femur for people who were born with dislocated or shallow hips.
I am currently one of five Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeons working in the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, England. I also have sessions at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, where I have approximately 27 consultant colleagues. A fairly large percentage of my National Health Service work is paediatric orthopaedics and the remainder is, generally speaking, surgery on the consequences of childhood disease of the hip in young adults.
My practice embraces conditions of the hip such as dislocation and dysplasia (DDH), Perthes’ Disease and Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis (SUFE), conditions which in adult life are principally responsible for a large number of hip replacements or resurfacings each year. I have carried out a substantial number of pelvic osteotomies of my own design. I also have extensive experience of the various acetabuloplasties and am familiar with the use of allografts in the correction of acetabular deformity.
In my adult practice, I mainly treat the sequelae (pathological consequences) of hip dysplasia, principally by the (combined) use of pelvic and femoral osteotomies. I also carry out hip resurfacings or total hip replacements, whichever procedure is best suited to my patient.
I see my private patients in my consulting rooms and perform their surgery at The Priory Hospital, Birmingham. I have published a number of medical papers and lectured extensively around the world. I believe I am the first non-American to be invited to be a guest lecturer to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
I am happily married to a Consultant Clinical Psychologist. Apart from spending time with my family, one of my greatest pleasures is seeing my patients fit, active and able to lead full and useful lives, which had previously been denied them.
John has the leading skills in the latest and most advanced joint-preserving surgery in the adolescent and young adult Hip. He was involved in the development of the metal on Metal Hip resurfacing and pioneered the famous Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, favoured by surgeons worldwide. John holds several patents in respect of the instrumentation for many widely used operations which he invented. Mr O’Hara has lectured, performing operative demonstrations and dry-bone demonstrations across the world, including Europe, the middle and far east, America and Australia. He has published widely on his techniques and their development.
Mr O’Hara’s main specialty is in young adult hips, though his expertise stretches far and wide.
Mr O’Hara is a graduate of The Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin in 1976. He spent a long time training in Birmingham, from 1981 to 1988 in orthopaedic Surgery. He has Postgraduate qualifications from The Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, The Royal College of Surgeons London and The National University of Ireland.
John was on the staff at the Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, until August 1990. There he was involved in the initial experiments to achieve efficient cartilage cell culture. He has traveled widely in North America (Boston, New York, Ottawa, and has been Visiting Professor in Chicago, Calgary). He has traveled widely in Europe and has served attachments at The Universities of Dortmund, Nuremberg, Berne and Zurich.
John has written numerous whitepapers and has contributed to countless publications over the years, here are a few that are accessible via Pubmed.gov: