Mr James Nicholl


Mr Nicholl specialises in hand, wrist and elbow surgery. He has been a Consultant in Tunbridge Wells since 1998.  His medical training was at Cambridge University and Guys Hospital, and before being appointed as a Consultant at the Kent and Sussex Hospital he completed fellowships in shoulder and hand surgery.

The common conditions he treats are carpal tunnel syndrome, Dupuytren’s contracture including Xiapex injections, arthritis of the hand and wrist, tennis elbow, trigger finger and fractures of the hand and wrist.

As well as having many years of clinical experience as a surgeon he is also involved in medical management, having been Trauma Director for the MTW Trust and is currently Orthopaedic Clinical Director and Chairman of the Nuffield Hospital Medical Advisory Committee.

I believe in the importance of listening to my patients, and using my experience as a specialist hand surgeon to offer them the various options available to treat their condition, so that they can make an informed decision as to what is right for them.


1981 – 4 A levels and 2 S levels
1981 – Entrance Scholarship to Cambridge
1984 – Medical Science Tripos, (Cambridge)
1985 – B.A. in Physical Anthropology, Class II 1, (Cambridge)
1988 – M.B.  B.Chir.  (Cambridge)
1989 – Master of Arts
1992 – F.R.C.S. (England)
1996 – F.R.C.S. (Orth.)
2000 – Certificate in Teaching  (South Thames Department of Postgraduate Medical Education)
2009 – Qualified Educational Supervisor Programme Part 2
2009 – Advanced Trauma Life Support provider course

Recent & Current Appointments

House Surgeon, Lewisham Hospital
House Physician, Guy’s Hospital
SHO in Accident and Emergency, Greenwich Hospital
SHO Surgical Rotation, St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey
SHO in Plastic Surgery, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton

Registrar in Orthopaedic Surgery, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton
Senior Registrar in Orthopaedic Surgery, Eastbourne District General Hospital
Senior Registrar in Orthopaedic Surgery, St. Thomas’ Hospital
Fellowship in Shoulder Surgery, Guy’s & Royal Sussex County Hospitals
Fellowship in hand Surgery, Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead

Teaching, Lectures and Publications

2010 – Uncemented Surface Replacement of the Proximal Interphalangeal Joint: Early Radiographic Lucencies. H. Cottam, JE Nicholl. British Society for Surgery of the Hand Meeting, London
2005 – The Hospital at Night Project

  • Visit of the President of the College of Surgeons to Tunbridge Wells
  • A ‘One Stop’ Carpal Tunnel Clinic. MJ Reid, JE Nicholl
    Federation of European Societies for Surgery of the Hand Congress, Glasgow
  • Outcomes of Arthroscopic Debridement for Triangular Fibrocartilage Comples Tears.
    N Gopalakrishnan, S Burtt, JE Nicholl. British Society for Surgery of the Hand Spring Meeting, Leeds

2003 – Carpal Tunnel Decompression: Should the Tourniquet be Released Before or After Closure. Pai & Nicholl

  • British and American Hand Societies Meeting, Cambridge

Conditions Treated

Carpal tunnel syndrome
Thumb base arthritis
Dupuytren’s contracture
Trigger finger
Tennis elbow
Hand and wrist arthritis
Wrist fractures
Scaphoid fractures
Hand injuries
Ulnar nerve compression
Torn triangular fibrocartilage
Wrist pain
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

Recent Achievement

Awarded 1 Clinical Excellence Award by the trust for 2015
Awarded 1 Clinical Excellence Award by the trust for 2009
Awarded 1 Clinical Excellence Award by the trust for 2007
Awarded 1 Clinical Excellence Award by the trust for 2006
Awarded 2 Clinical Excellence Awards by the trust for 2005
Awarded 2nd place in the NHS Innovations Awards 2005 for setting up a One Stop Carpal Tunnel Clinic


I very much appreciate Mr Nicholl’s kindness, care and attention he has given me over the past two years. He found the cause of my pain on the very first visit. Before treatment I was experiencing pain and limited movement in both of my wrists due to a fall. During his consultation he was very caring and compassionate taking time to ensure I fully understood the answers to my questions. Following surgical procedures to both my wrist and arm I am pleased to say due to Mr Nicholl’s skill and the medical care received I am recovering well and my range of movement improves daily. Throughout this journey I have felt confident and at ease.

I was referred through the Choose and Book system to Mr Nicholl with pain in my right little finger which I had been experiencing for several years with no history of trauma. Mr Nicholl was great in diagnosing my problem. Since having surgery my finger has never felt better. I can’t thank Mr Nicholl enough for all his hard work.

I was experiencing pain in my left shoulder for several months and Mr Nicholl was able to see me at very short notice. I was treated courteously with a clear understanding of my orthopaedic problem and was more than satisfied with the explanation of my problem and his treatment. Mr Nicholl’s Secretary was very approachable and helpful.

Society Memberships