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Dr James McLean

PhD, MS, MBBS, FRACS (Ortho), FAOrthA Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr James McLean is an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in shoulder & upper limb surgery, with a particular interest in joint replacement and minimally-invasive arthroscopic (key-hole) surgery of the shoulder, elbow, wrist & hand.

Specialising in
  • Elbow
  • Hand
  • Shoulder
  • Wrist
Dr James McLean manages patient conditions associated with arthritis, trauma & sports injuries; & has a special interest in shoulder arthritis & rotator cuff disease.

Dr McLean has trained locally and internationally, including two clinical fellowships at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) & University of British Columbia (Canada). An important part of his practice is committed to the development of new methods of diagnosis & treatment, as well as research into improving patient outcomes following surgery. His ongoing contributions to orthopaedic literature have seen him co-author several book chapters on upper limb conditions, publish numerous research papers in peer-reviewed journals, and accept several accolades, including ‘best paper’ awards, research grants & research scholarships.


Specialising in

  • Elbow Hand Shoulder
  • Wrist

Consulting / Operating Locations

Additional Information

In addition to consulting from four of Orthopaedics SA’s metropolitan locations, Dr McLean complements his private practice with clinics at the Royal Adelaide Hospital; where he holds clinical & academic appointments through the University of Adelaide. He is also an active Australian Defence Force Reservist. Through these commitments, Dr McLean maintains a high standard of personal & professional fulfilment, as well as being a devoted husband and father of two young boys.

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
    Thesis: The establishment of an automated, electronic data-collection system for the purpose of qualifying, evaluating and improving post-operative surgical outcomes and evidence-based surgery
    University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
  • Master of Surgery (MS)
    Thesis: An Anatomical Basis for the Management of Complex Wrist Injuries
    University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
  • Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
    University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)
    Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Melbourne, Australia
  • Fellow of the Australian Orthopaedic Association (FAOrthA)
    Australian Orthopaedic Association, Sydney, Australia
  • Queen’s Commission 2nd Lieutenant
    Royal Military College of Australia, Duntroon, Australia
  • Diploma of Personnel and Operations Management
    Royal Military College of Australia, Duntroon, Australia
  • Diploma of Government (Management)
    Royal Military College of Australia, Duntroon, Australia
  • Certificate IV in Business (Frontline Management)
    Royal Military College of Australia, Duntroon, Australia
  • Clinical Fellowship – shoulder & Elbow Surgery
    University of Cambridge NHS Foundation Trust – Addenbrooke’s Hospital
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Clinical Fellowship – Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery 
    University of British Columbia – St Paul’s Hospital & Vancouver Upper Limb Centre
    British Columbia, Canada
  • Research Fellowship – RACS Foundation W. G. Norman Research Fellowship
    University of Adelaide – Royal Adelaide Hospital
    Adelaide, Australia
  • Surgical Education Training (SET) Programme – Orthopaedic Surgery
    Royal Australasian College of Surgeons / Australian Orthopaedic Association
  • Basic Surgical Training (BST) Programme
    Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Early Management of Severe Burns
  • Early Management of Severe Trauma course
  • RACS Australian Surgical Skills Education and Training course
  • RACS Basic Surgical Examination
  • RACS Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient course
  • RACS Clinical Surgery Examination
  • RACS Critical Literature Evaluation & Research course
  • RACS Mastering Professional Interactions Workshop
  • RACS Orthopaedic Principles & Basic Science examination
  • RACS Professional Development for Registrars
  • RACS Risk Minimisation & Stress Management for Surgeons
  • RACS Statistics for Surgeons Workshop
  • Radiation Safety Course
  • University of Adelaide – Anatomy Course for Surgical Trainees
  • University of Otago – Dunedin Basic Medical Sciences Course
  • Internship
    Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia
  • Medical School
    University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
  • Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
    Orthopaedics SA, Adelaide, Australia
  • Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
    Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia

Teaching appointments

  • Senior Clinical Lecturer
    University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
  • Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence
    University of Adelaide, 2019
  • R.J. Bauze Prize“Best Paper” Normal Population Reference Values for the DASH, PRWHE and Mayo Wrist Scores
    Australian Orthopaedic Association – SA, 2017
  • RACS Foundation W G Norman Research Fellowship – $60,000
    Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Arthritis Australia/Zimmer Orthopaedic Fellowship Scholarship – $55,000
    Arthritis Foundation of Australia
  • Modbury Hospital Research Grant – $40,000
    Industry Research Grant
  • Faculty of Health Sciences Divisional Scholarship – $20,000
    University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
  • Modbury Hospital Research Grant – $12,000
    Modbury Public Hospital Foundation
  • Keith Doddridge Prize – Best paper – $500
    Lunate Type as a Predictor For Cable Augmented Modified Brunelli Procedure
    South Australian Hand Surgery Society
  • Keith Doddridge Prize – Best paper – $500
    Influence of Lunate Type on Row and Column Scaphoid Kinematics
    South Australian Hand Surgery Society
  • Scaphoid Anatomy
    Adam C Watts, James M McLean, Quentin Fogg, Gregory I Bain
    In: The Scaphoid. Editor Slutsky DJ & Slade JF III, New York: Thieme; 2011:3-10
  • Reconstruction techniques for fractures of the proximal ulna and radial head
    James M. McLean , George S. Athwal, Parham Daneshvar
    In: Essential Techniques in Elbow Surgery. Editors: Samuel Antuña & Raul Barco.
    Cham, Germany: Springer International Publishing AG. 2016: 59-86.
  • Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index Values in Asymptomatic and Arthritic  Cohorts
    Raymond W Yu, James M. Mclean, Jasvir Bahl, Lucian B. Solomon
    Orthopedics; 2019 Mar 1;42(2):e216-e224.
  • Varus Posteromedial Rotatory Instability of the Elbow: Injury Pattern and Surgical Experience of 27 Acute Consecutive Surgical Patients
    James M. McLean, Michael Kempston, Jeffrey J. Pike, Tom. J. Goetz, Parham Daneshvar, Journal of Orthopedic Trauma; 2018 Dec;32(12):e469-e474.
  • Asymptomatic reference values for the Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hand and Patient-Rated Wrist/Hand Evaluation – electronic data collection and its clinical implications
    James M. McLean, Afsana P. Hasan, Jake Willet, Matthew Jennings, Kimberly Brown, Laura Jennings, Tom Goetz, Journal of Hand Surgery (Eu); 2018 Nov;43(9):988-993.
  • Asymptomatic population reference values for three knee patient-reported outcomes measures: evaluation of an electronic data collection system and implications for future international, multi-centre cohort studies
    James M. McLean, Oscar Brumby‑Rendell, Ryan Lisle, Jacob Brazier, Kieran Dunn, Tiffany Gill, Catherine L. Hill, Daniel Mandziak, Jordan Leith, Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery; 2018; 138(5): 611-621.
  • Varus Posteromedial Rotatory Instability of the Elbow: Injury Pattern and Surgical Experience of 27 Acute Consecutive Surgical Patients
    Parham Daneshvar, Tom Goetz, Jeff Pike, Michael Kempston, James M McLean, Zafeiria Glaris. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma; in press.
  • HOOS and WOMAC values in Asymptomatic and Arthritic Cohorts – Implications for Longitudinal Cohort Studies
    Raymond W Yu, James M Mclean, Jasvir Bahl, Lucian B Solomon. Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery; in press.
  • Smartphone Applications for the Evaluation of Pathological Shoulder Range of Motion and Shoulder Scores – A Comparative Study
    Kevyn Mejia Hernandez, Angela Chang, Nathan Eardley-Harris, Jaarsma Ruurd, Tiffany Gill, James M McLean, Journal of Shoulder & Elbow Surgery (open access); 2018; 2(1); 109-114.
  • An International, Multi-Center Cohort Study Comparing Six Shoulder Clinical Scores in a Normal, Asymptomatic Population
    James M. McLean
    , Daniel Awwad, Ryan Lisle, James Besanko, Donald Shivakkumar, Jordan Leith. Journal of Shoulder & Elbow Surgery; 2018; 27(2): 306-314.
  • Asymptomatic Population Reference Values for the DASH Questionnaire and PRWHE – Electronic Data Collection and its Implications For Clinical Practice
    James M. McLean
    , Afsana Hasan, Jake Willet, Matthew Jennings, Kimberley Brown, Laura Goodwins, Tom Goetz. J Hand Surgery; 2018; 43(9) 988–993.
  • Rekonstruktion des Ligamentum scapholunatum durch Quad-Ligament-Tenodese mit FCR-Sehnenstreifen
    GI Bain, AC Watts, James M. McLean.  Handchirurgie Scan 5: 01; 31-31.
  • Normal Population Reference Values for the Oxford and Harris Hip Scores – Electronic Data Collection and its Implications For Clinical Practice
    James M McLean
    , Jacob Cappelletto, Jock Clarnette, Catherine Hill, Tiffany Gill, Daniel Mandziak, Jordan Leith. Hip International. 2017; 27: 3; 311-412.
  • Reconstruction of the ligamentum scapholunatum by quad-ligament tenodesis with FCR tendon strips 
    Gregory I. Bain, Adam C. Watts, James M. McLean, Hand Surgery Scan. 2016; 5: 1; 31-31.
  • Joint Consideration: Rehabilitation considerations when managing post-operative orthopaedic patients
    James M McLean
    . Sports Physio; 2016: 3: 10-13.
  • Cable-augmented, Quad Ligament Tenodesis Scapholunate Reconstruction
    Gregory I Bain, Adam C Watts, James M McLean , Yu C Lee, Kevin Eng, J Wrist Surg. 2015; 4: 246–251.
  • Australian Hand Surgery Society (AHSS)
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
  • Australasian Orthopaedic Trauma Society (AOTS)
  • Australian Medical Association (AMA)
  • Australasian Military Medicine Association (AMMA)
  • Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA)
  • Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons (ASOS)
  • International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery & Orthopaedic Sports Medicine (ISAKOS)
  • Medical Insurance Group Australia (MIGA)
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • Shoulder & Elbow Society (SESA)
  • South Australian Hand Surgery Society (SAHSS)
  • University of Adelaide Alumni (UAA)
  • Research Coordinator
    Regional Training Committee – South Australia / Northern Territory Australian Orthopaedic Association Ltd
  • Regional Research Coordinator – South Australia / Northern Territory
    Research Coordinators Committee
    Australian Orthopaedic Association Ltd
  • President
    South Australian Orthopaedic Registrars Association (2013)
  • South Australian Orthopaedic Trainee Representative
    South Australian SA Training Committee (2011-12)
  • South Australian Trainee Representative
    Australian Orthopaedic Registrar’s Association (2011-12)
  • Treasurer
    South Australian Orthopaedic Registrar’s Association (2010-11)
  • Committee Member
    Royal Adelaide Hospital RMO Society (2006-7)
  • Intern Representative
    Royal Adelaide Hospital RMO Working Committee (2005)