Description

What is Orthopaedics?
 
Orthopaedics covers the diagnosis and treatment  of disorders of bones, joints and muscles. Orthopaedic surgeons have special skills in  the surgical treatment of these conditions. The medical treatment is often shared  by orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists, sports doctors and general practitioners (GPs).
 
Here are some of the most common conditions treated by orthopaedic surgeons in adult patients:
  • severe osteoarthritis of the hip or knee
  • fractured bones
  • torn or inflamed muscles, tendons and cartilage
  • dislocations of joints
  • infections in bones and joints
  • trapped nerves
  • disorders of the spine.

Where joints have become destroyed by disease, or worn out, orthopaedic surgeons can often replace these joints with artificial ones. This results in marked relief from pain and an increase in mobility and enjoyment of life for patients.

Fractures, except for the most minor ones, are treated by orthopaedic surgeons as they have the expertise to assess the damage around the fracture and ensure the best function is obtained after the fracture is mended.

Most spinal conditions do not need a surgical operation, but a small number do. Your GP will tell you if your condition is one that could benefit from an orthopaedic opinion.

Outpatient Clinics

These are held at the Greenlane Clinical Centre.  For information about this location please click here.

Consultants

Hours

Outpatient sessions are held at Greenlane Clinical Centre.
You must have an appointment to attend any of these sessions.

General Orthopaedic Outpatients: Monday to Friday 9:00am till 4:30pm
Fracture Clinics: Monday to Friday
High Risk Foot Clinics: Monthly on Friday afternoons

Referral Expectations

1. Referral by General Practioner

You must be assessed by your GP before you can be referred to the Orthopaedic Department at the Auckland Hospital (Greenlane site). During your GP visit, ensure that adequate information is provided to the GP so that they can make an appropriate referral. Also ensure that the GP orders the necessary investigations and attaches them to your  referral in order to avoid delays. As there is only a certain amount of money and a limited number of specialists working at the hospital, it is not possible for the Orthopaedic Department to see every patient who is referred.

2. Triaging of referrals

There are currently more requests for appointments than we have the capacity to see. This means we must see the most urgent and the most disabled patients. Patients with lesser levels of disability will need to see a doctor outside the public hospital system.

Many minor orthopaedic conditions are treated well by GPs and they may judge that you will receive swifter and more effective treatment by referring you to a sports medicine doctor, a rheumatologist, or a physiotherapist. For many minor orthopaedic conditions these are exactly the same health professionals that the orthopaedic surgeon uses to assist in your recovery.

3. Appointment to see an orthopaedic surgeon

There are some conditions that only an orthopaedic surgeon can treat and if your GP refers you to the Orthopaedic Department, you may be given an appointment to see a specialist surgeon. In this case the hospital will write to you giving you an appointment time and date. These appointments are scarce and there is competition for them so there may be some delay before you receive one. The current wait time is an average of 5 months.

4. Confirmation of appointment

If you do receive an appointment letter, please confirm the appointment by calling greenlane clinic as soon as you receive the letter.

5. Attend your outpatient appointment in Greenlane Clinical centre

Please turn up on the day of appointment because, if you do not turn up, you will deprive another patient of this valuable appointment.

When you come please bring with you:

1.       Any letters or reports from your doctor or other hospital.
2.       Any X-Rays, CT or MRI films and reports.
3.       All medicines you are taking including herbal and natural remedies.
4.       Your pharmaceutical entitlement card.
5.       Your ACC number, if you have one.
 

Urgent referrals

If you have an urgent orthopaedic condition such as a bone infection or a malignant bone tumour, your doctor will phone the hospital and you will receive an appointment very promptly.

Injuries covered by ACC

If you have a condition that was caused by an accident, you will receive swifter attention and treatment by seeing an orthopaedic surgeon outside the hospital under the cover of the Accident Compensation Corporation.     

Procedures / Treatments

  • Soft Tissue (muscles, tendons and ligaments)

    Orthopaedic surgeons can do operations on tendons to repair them or to improve the muscle balance around a joint.… More

  • Fracture Clinics

    This clinic is for patients who have sustained an injury that has already been treated.… More

  • General Outpatient Clinics

    These are clinics for patients who have been referred by their doctor for an orthopaedic opinion on a specific concern.… More

  • Specialty Clinics

    Some surgeons have special expertise in one area of orthopaedics.… More

  • Joint Replacement

    For elderly patients, joint replacement surgery is sometimes required to treat joints that have been damaged from "wearing out" types of arthritis or from other forms of joint disease including rheumatoid arthritis.… More

  • Osteotomy

    The division of a crooked or bent bone to improve alignment of the limb.… More

  • Arthroscopy (keyhole surgery)

    A large number of orthopaedic procedures on joints can be performed using an arthroscope, where a fiber optic telescope is used to look inside the joint.… More

  • Bunions

    Relief from bunions Most bunions are treatable without surgery. Prevention is always best.… More

Charges

There are no charges for New Zealand citizens or those with permanent New Zealand residency when they are treated in the public hospital. All non-residents and visitors to New Zealand will be billed for the full cost of the consultations and treatment.

The only exception to this is for the treatment of accidents where the cost of treatment can be paid for by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

Contact Details

Auckland City Hospital

Central Auckland

  • Phone

    (09) 367 0000 extn 26196 Fracture Clinic 09 367 0000 extn 26450

  • Website

    www.adhb.govt.nz

More details…

Greenlane Clinical Centre

Central Auckland

  • Phone

    (09) 367 0000 extn 26196 Fracture Clinic 09 367 0000 extn 26450

  • Website

    www.adhb.govt.nz

More details…

This page was last updated at 1:09PM on May 8, 2014. This information is reviewed and edited by Auckland DHB Orthopaedics.