Dr Birkholtz qualified from the University of Pretoria as a medical doctor in 1997 and comes from a family of doctors.

He started his post-graduate career in Orthopaedic Surgery in 2000. During his time as a registrar (resident), he created the Limb Reconstruction Unit at the Pretoria Academic Hospital (later Steve Biko Academic Hospital). During this time he developed his skills and understanding of the Ilizarov method and limb lengthening and reconstruction surgery in general. He also developed a keen interest in complex trauma.

He qualified as an orthopaedic surgeon in 2006 and holds both the MMed (Orth) degree from the University of Pretoria and the FCOrth(SA) qualification from the College of Orthopaedic Surgeons of South Africa.

He is fully registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

The private practice was started in 2006 and rapidly developed into a highly renowned practice both locally and internationally, especially catering for complex trauma and limb reconstruction cases.