This information is not intended to be all-inclusive, just helpful prior to your surgery.If you have any further questions please discuss them with your surgeon.
REGULARLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes you can, even on the day of surgery with a small sip of water. Patients with diabetes and those on blood thinning tablets will have special instructions. In general you will be asked to stop medication such as Aspirin or Clopidogrel (Plavix) 10 days prior to surgery and Warfarin 5 days prior to surgery
Yes, on your scheduled day however, there may be a wait depending on the order of the operating list.
Yes. Your surgeon will see you in the pre-operative holding area before your operation or earlier if there are
any relevant issues.
You will need your documentation for admittance to the hospital, all relevant X-rays, any medication you may
be on, loose clothing and a spare change of clothes.
Yes you can. You are only able to make telephone calls in the Cairns area from your bedside phone, so if
you live on the Tablelands it is a good idea to bring your mobile. Laptop computers can be used whilst you
are recovering, the hospital is now equipped with a wireless Internet connection, at a cost.
Fasting is normally 6 hours prior to anaesthetic. You will be told by the surgeon’s rooms when to commence
fasting. We recommend that you shower prior to surgery using medicated soap or shower gel.
These should be arranged prior to your hospital admission. If you require crutches, these will need to be
fitted. You can hire mobility aids or purchase them.
If however this is overlooked you can call the Reef Orthopaedic Clinic on 07 4041 8000 during normal working hours.
For all certificates call the rooms after surgery
Discharge is usually around 10.00am. You will be discharged when pain is controlled by oral medication and
you are mobilising safely
You will need your documentation for admittance to the hospital, all relevant X-rays, any medication you may be on, loose clothing and a spare change of clothes.
For motor vehicle insurance purposes you are safe to drive when you can walk comfortably. You are not
cleared to drive until 6 weeks after a Total Knee Replacement. For Upper Limb surgery different restrictions
may apply and this should be discussed with you surgeon.
Take the dressings down, pat the wounds dry and replace with gauze, a crepe bandage or adhesive
If this occurs call the Reef Orthopaedic Clinic on 07 4041 8000 and we will arrange for the dressings to be
AFTER WOUND HEALING
All patients can vary, but as a guide swelling often increases over the first 6 weeks and then reduces to normal over the next 6 weeks. This is the normal way the body heals. Rest and elevation helps with lower limb operations. Swelling is common and can cause stiffness and mild nerve pain so it is important to minimise it as much as possible.
Some people do have slower healing rates. Change the dressing daily and keep your wound covered.
Your surgeon and physiotherapist will advise you. In general, you can begin light exercise after 6 weeks and
more vigorous activities at 3 months.
Three months is the healing time for most procedures although larger operations may take up to 12 months
You can travel anytime but there are added risks of deep venous thrombosis during the first three months
Usually not, however if the toe shape changes or there is prolonged (not just immediate) pain call the office.
PINS (TOES ONLY)
Some pain after surgery is unavoidable. Severe pain that escalates rather than subsides is of concern and
you should contact us. There shouldn’t be excessive pain after more than a few days so contact us if this is
In general, we recommend regular paracetamol (8 tablets/day), regular anti-inflammatories if tolerated and
stronger painkillers (Tramadol or Endone) as prescribed. Use ice packs and elevation hourly for the first few
The most common cause for this is taking excess codeine or opiates such as Panadeine Forte or Tramadol.
Move to using Paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen if possible.
The standard fee charged by our Practice is based on the Australian Medical Association recommended fee
which means that part of your consultation and your surgical fee will not be covered by Medicare and/or your
private health insurance fund.
A medical gap is the difference between the combined amount paid by Medicare and a private health fund for
a medical service, and the doctor’s fee.
If you have to go into hospital for surgical or medical care, there may be an out-of-pocket cost or medical gap
that is not covered by Medicare or your private health fund. A medical gap is the difference between the
combined amount paid by Medicare and a private health fund for a medical service, and the doctor’s fee
During your surgery booking you will be provided with fees for the assistant surgeon, you will be provided
with the contact details for the anaesthetist and the Hospital to obtain their fees and any out-of-pockets that
you may have to pay.
Private Health Insurance allows you to choose your practitioner and timeframe for elective surgery
Your initial consultation can provide a lot of information on your condition. If you feel that you do not have a
complete understanding or have further questions, request a review appointment to discuss with your
surgeon or contact the clinic staff with your questions. If the staff are unable to assist, a message will be
passed onto your surgeon or it may be suggested that you organise a review appointment.
In the unexpected event of you requiring additional surgery during a hospital stay, your surgeon will discuss
with you the need and type of surgery that you will require.
Other incidental costs you may incur during your hospital admission include pathology, physiotherapy,
radiology and pharmacy.
Yes. Always check with your private health fund to find out what you are covered for and whether your
treatment will result in any out-of pocket-costs.
Yes, Once you have obtained a referral from your General Practitioner or treating doctor the referral will be
reviewed by our specialists and sometimes further imaging such as CT or MRI scans will be arranged for
you. We will then contact you to arrange an appointment.. If your referral is from your GP or another
specialist you are able to claim a rebate through Medicare.
Referrals are not required for our Acute Sports and Injury Clinic, as you will be assessed by one of our GP’s
first, then your Orthopaedic surgeon.
Yes, our reception staff are able to provide costs for the consultations at the time of making your
appointment. All consultation fees are payable on the day of your appointment. We can accept payment by
EFTPOS, Visa or MasterCard. For security reasons we prefer not to accept cash. Please note that we are
unable to accept AMEX payments.
If you are registered with Medicare you can obtain a rebate on consultation fees through our office.