J. Cyriax was born in London at 27/10/1904 as the son of Edgar Cyriax and Annyuata Kellgren (also both MD’s). He went to the University College School, Gonville; Caius College, Cambridge and finally to the St. Thomas’s Hospital Medical School in London. He qualified in medicine in 1929, MD (Cantab) in 1938, MRCP (London) in 1954. In 1947 he married to Patricia (Patsy), who was a PT. Together they had two sons: Peter and Oliver. James Cyriax had also a son and a daughter from a previous marriage. Since 1975 he was visiting Professor in Orthopaedic Medicine at the University of Rochester, New York (USA).
Once somebody asked him if he was religious; James answered: “I believe in Orthopaedic Medicine”. He was not the type who was telling jokes all the time, but nevertheless, during lectures he often showed some typical British humour. An example: he just explained that a certain lesion can be treated by an infiltration with triamcinolone. A colleague in the audience asks: “does it also work with local anaesthetic?”. Cyriax’s answer: “of course! As long as you put enough triamcinolone in it”.
Dr. Cyriax was in fact the “Einstein of Orthopaedic Medicine”, who, even today, is a source of inspiration for many people. He was a very modest and idealistic man, without any interest in the “business side” of things.
Cyriax published many articles and books in which he clearly described his views on Orthopaedic Medicine. Modern Orthopaedic Medicine, as we know it today, is the result of a vast evolution. It is a constant search for validity and scientific expansion of the different hypotheses. Some hypotheses have been confirmed, others refuted and other are still in the process of research.
James was not the man to stand in front of the mirror and see if that particular suit was suitable for this particular lecture. In fact, he didn’t pay any attention at all at the “dress code”. Luckily the “girls” (his PT’s) took some care of him. One might say, he was a little bit slumpy. He also had a very good appetite: double portions and double deserts were not exceptional.