Meet the Doctor from Our June 2022 Cover, Cass Nakasone

The renowned orthopedic surgeon at Straub has performed thousands of successful hip and knee replacements and is committed to mentoring the next generation of surgeons in Hawai‘i.


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Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


When researching the most reputable O‘ahu surgeons who specialize in knee and hip replacement, Dr. Cass Nakasone likely makes most short lists. Selected as one of HONOLULU’s Top Doctors of 2022, the Straub Medical Center orthopedic surgeon not only has successfully performed thousands of surgeries over his decadeslong career, but has pioneered new implants and systems, published extensively in medical journals and has surgeons flying to Hawai‘i to learn his groundbreaking techniques. Over the years, Nakasone has helped thousands of people in his home state to literally get back on their feet. “Hopefully, the fact that I’m just getting busier and busier means we are doing a good job for people,” he says. “It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to do this for people and change their lives.”


Despite being a natural fit as a surgeon, Nakasone initially seemed destined for an engineering career, having earned a master’s in mechanical engineering at Stanford. But he took a detour and went to medical school at the University of Hawai‘i, pursuing orthopedic surgery so he could tap in to his engineering skills. “I gravitated toward joint replacement because it’s something you can fix; it’s very mechanical to figure out how to make artificial implants work,” he says.


SEE ALSO: 2022 Top Doctors in Hawai‘i


Now, along with running a successful practice, Nakasone teaches orthopedic surgical residents at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. He’s particularly passionate about the work and is committed to helping Hawai‘i’s next generation of surgeons advance their own training and research. “The research is a facet of the future that I would like to solidify in Hawai‘i,” he says. “We really do have some exceptional people here, and they are destined for greater things. We have an opportunity to be a gem in the Pacific, a center of excellence, but we need to make Hawai‘i the place they can achieve these greater things.”