He attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating in 1953.
He designed four models of widely used systems He worked as a physician and orthopedic surgeon in England and Canada before joining the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He founded the Insall Scott Kelly Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Beth Israel and the Knee Society.
In addition to his pre-eminent knee textbook Surgery of the Knee (Churchill-Livingstone, 2000), Doctor Insall wrote approximately 150 peer-reviewed articles, 41 book chapters and 5 books
He has also trained over 200 orthopaedic residents and 100 national and international knee fellows throughout his academic career. He died of lung cancer on December 30, 2000, at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan.
His publications include the following:
Current concepts in primary and revision total knee arthroplasty (Lippincott-Raven, 1996)
Surgery of the knee, Volume 1 (Churchill Livingstone, 2001)
This award recognises outstanding papers concerning clinical results and techniques. The John North. Insall Travelling Fellowship is awarded to four candidates internationally.
This allows those individuals to travel to prominent knee surgery centers.