Mr Paul Nicolai

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

FRCS (Trauma & Ortho)

Personal profile

Mr Paul Nicolai has been working as a Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon in Bury St Edmunds since 2003. He is a recognised specialist knee surgeon and participates in trauma care on a rotational basis at the West Suffolk Hospital.

During his training Mr Nicolai worked as a knee research Fellow in Harlow and was awarded a Travel Fellowship by the British Association for Surgery of the Knee, where he visited six top knee surgeons in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. He was Treasurer of the British Orthopaedic Trainee Association and a member of an editorial panel of a journal for surgical trainees.

His consultant knee practice concentrates on the treatment of cartilage disorders in any age group. He believes in joint preservation and attempts to offer joint sparing surgery, such as keyhole surgery (arthroscopy), osteotomies (joint off-loading procedures) and partial knee replacements when possible because it allows patients to maintain a better quality of life. When the entire joint is damaged by arthritis Mr Nicolai performs full knee replacements.

The Physica ZUK unicondylar knee prosthesis he uses has by far the best results in the National Joint Registry. Mr Nicolai was the first surgeon in the UK to start using this prosthesis in 2005 and his research paper reporting the 12-year results in the Knee journal in 2019 showed the best published survivorship and clinical results of any partial knee replacements in the literature.

Mr Nicolai is a member of a European expert panel of this prosthesis and has written 2 chapters in a consensus document to help inexperienced surgeons in their training to use this prosthesis.

Mr Nicolai is a member of the ODEP and Beyond Compliance committees, national organisations which are responsible for quality ratings of total and partial knee prostheses and the safe introduction of newly developed or altered implants. The ratings are on a public domain website and can be used by patients, surgeons and healthcare providers to assess the quality of the many implants available on the market.

He is a reviewer for the Knee journal, assessing research articles for suitability for publication in this peer reviewed global journal. He is performing regular research himself and has published over 20 articles in peer-reviewed international journals and regularly presents his research results in regional, national and international meetings.

He is involved in teaching surgeons, orthopaedic trainees, operating theatre personnel and physiotherapists and has been a faculty member on national and international training courses. He runs sports injury clinics for adults and children.

For more information:

Clinical Interests

  • Arthroscopy (keyhole surgery for torn cartilage, arthritis)
  • Osteotomies (joint off-loading procedures)
  • Partial knee replacement (unicondylar)
  • Total knee replacement
  • Sports medicine and injuries

Professional Memberships

  • British Association for Surgery of Knee (BASK)
  • British Orthopaedic Association (BOA)
  • European Society for Sports Injuries Knee Surgery and Arthoscopy (ESSKA)
  • Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

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