About John

A/Prof John Cunningham OAM is an experienced and accomplished orthopaedic surgeon who has helped many people maintain or improve their quality of life with a range of patient-focused, evidence-based treatments.

His expertise extends to preventative techniques and lifestyle changes, minimally invasive surgical techniques and traditional open surgery.


Years of experience


Successful surgeries


Published papers


John Cunningham grew up in Sydney, and attended the University of NSW for eight years. He entered medicine, but also took on the conjoint degree of Bachelor of Science, with majors in Anatomy and Physiology. In 1991 he completed a thesis on the role of the sympathetic nervous system in Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (now known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS). After finishing his medical degrees, John worked as a resident medical officer at St George Hospital in southern Sydney before being called up to active duty with the Australian Army. From 1999, he served in East Timor, at the Sydney Olympic Games, in Bougainville and in the Solomon Islands.

Returning to civilian practice, John began his Orthopaedic training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2005, completing it in 2008. In 2009 he completed a 12 month spine surgery fellowship with both neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons at the internationally regarded Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Canada. The following year, he was granted the Rowan Nicks ANZ

John Cunningham


Tertiary Education

University of New South Wales

  • 1992: Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • 1996: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Honours)

University of Newcastle

  • 2010: Masters of Clinical Epidemiology

Surgical Training

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

  • 2009: Fellow

University of Calgary

  • 2009: Combined Spine Fellow: neurosurgical and orthopaedic fellowship

Auckland City Hospital

  • 2010: Orthopaedic Spine Fellow

Awards & Memberships


2016 Order of Australia Medal for services to medicine and the promotion of immunisation

2010 RACS Rowan Nicks Australia and New Zealand Fellow

2009 DePuy Spine Clinical Fellowship Bursary

2005 NSW AOA Annual Scientific Conference Best Registrar Paper

Royal Australian Army Medical Corps

  • Australian Active Service Medal
  • Australian Service Medal
  • Australian Defence Medal
  • InterFET Campaign Medal
  • United Nations Service Medal


  • Medical Board of Australia: MED0001214736
  • Fellow of the Australian Orthopaedic Association
  • International Affiliate Member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Member of the Spine Society of Australia
  • Australian Military Medicine Association
  • Sprite Car Club of Australia


John has published and/or contributed to numerous publications in various medical fields connected to spinal surgery and orthopaedics. Click below to find links to these publications online.