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Capital & Coast DHB Orthopaedic Service

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Capital & Coast DHB Orthopaedic Clinic
The Orthopaedic Clinic provides acute and elective treatment for musculoskeletal injuries or conditions including fracture/sprains, trauma, sports injuries, and congenital abnormalities and degenerative conditions. Elective treatment is provided through GP/other referral to a specialist clinic with investigation and inpatient elective treatment eventuating from this. Acute patients for management of musculoskeletal trauma are referred from the Emergency Department, or direct from the GP/outside agencies.

For your information:

  • the Orthopaedic Clinic is open Monday-Friday 8am - 9.30pm. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 9am-5.30pm
  • the Orthopaedic Clinic is located on Level C of the Emergency Building. External access to our department is available off Mein Street (by the School of Medicine), suitable for ambulance or Taxi. There is limited public parking available on this side of the building during working hours and this entrance is locked by 8.30pm. Access is also available through the Atrium of Wellington Regional Hospital – ask at reception for directions. Entry and exit to the underground car park is via the Riddiford Street entrance – take the red lift to level 3 then follow the signs to Orthopaedic Clinic

What is Orthopaedics?
This is a surgical specialty that deals with disorders of bones, joints and soft tissues of the limbs and spine. The specialty covers a range of different types of conditions starting with congenital (conditions which children are born with) through to degenerative (conditions relating to the wearing out of joints). The field of orthopaedics also covers trauma where bones are broken or injuries are sustained to limbs. Other conditions that sit under the spectrum of orthopaedics are a variety of metabolic, neurological and inflammatory conditions.

Orthopaedic surgeons have special skills in the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of these conditions. A number of conditions that may be initially assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon may also require opinions and treatments by rheumatologists, sports doctors, neurologists, other surgical specialists and general practitioners (GPs).

Some of the most common conditions treated by orthopaedic surgeons in adult patients:

  • severe osteoarthritis of the hip or knee
  • fractured (broken) 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. 


Referral Expectations

You must be assessed by your GP before you can be referred to the Orthopaedic Department. As there is only a certain amount of funding 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.

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.

However, 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.  This decision is made by an orthopaedic 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. If you do receive one please turn up on the day because, if you do not turn up, you will deprive another patient of this valuable appointment.

Your GP will send us a letter explaining your condition. We will make an appointment time for you, based on your health need, and send it directly to you. For urgent needs e.g. serious infections or malignant tumours you will be seen promptly. For other conditions e.g. painful arthritis that makes movement difficult, you will be seen ideally within 6 months.

You will be seen in the outpatient clinic by specialist doctors, or those that work with them, who will assess your condition, discuss treatment options and make recommendations to you.

You need to 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.        
If you have a condition that was caused by an accident, you may be able to receive swifter attention and treatment by seeing an orthopaedic surgeon outside the hospital under the cover of the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Your GP will decide if this is an appropriate treatment option.

Services / Procedures / Treatments

  • Fracture Clinics

    The fracture clinics are for patients whose injury has already been treated and further follow-up of that injury is needed.… More

  • General Outpatient Clinics

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

  • Specialty Clinics

    These are clinics for specific parts of the body or specific conditions.… More

  • Ankle Sprains

    The ankle joint is a flexible hinged joint which consists of three bones (tibia, fibula and talus).… More PDF

  • Achilles Tendon Rupture

    The Achilles tendon is a large tendon which runs between the calf muscle and the heel.… More PDF

  • Arthroscopy (keyhole surgery)

    Over the last 30 years it has become possible for a large number of orthopaedic procedures to be performed using an arthroscope i.e.… More

  • Bunions/Hallux Valgus

    Bunions are also known as Hallux Valgus. Hallux is the Latin word for the great toe, and Valgus is Latin for ‘bending outwards’.… More PDF

  • Care of your frame / external fixator and pin sites

    More PDF

  • Caring for your Child's Arm Cast / Plaster

    More PDF

  • Caring for your Child's Leg Cast / Plaster

    More PDF

  • Caring for your Arm Cast / Plaster (Adult)

    More PDF

  • Caring for your Leg Cast / Plaster (Adult)

    More PDF

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    More PDF

  • Clavicle (Collarbone) Fracture

    This injury is usually caused by a direct blow (as in a rugby tackle) or a fall (off a bike or skateboard) onto the shoulder.… More PDF

  • Congenital Talipes Equinovaus (Club Foot)

    Talipes or club foot is a congenital deformity (present at birth) where the baby’s foot (or feet) is turned inwards.… More PDF

  • Dislocated Shoulder

    The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body.… More PDF

  • Fractured neck of femur

    More PDF

  • Hip and Knee Joint Replacement

    For elderly patients joint replacement surgery is commonly required to treat joints damaged by wear and tear or by other forms of joint disease including rheumatoid arthritis.… More PDF

  • Mallet Finger Splint

    Mallet finger is where the finger bends but will not straighten by itself.… More PDF

  • Midshaft Humerus (Arm) Fracture

    More PDF

  • Osteotomy

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

  • Soft Tissue (muscles, tendons and ligaments)

    Tendons are often injured or may deteriorate with age. Sometimes surgery can repair or reconstruct them.… More


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).

Document Downloads

Visiting Hours

Orthopaedic Ward: 6 North

10am to 1pm and 3pm to 8pm daily. There is a patient rest time between 1pm and 3pm.


Fuel Espresso Coffee, Level 3 Link Corridor by the purple lifts.

Wishbone Cafe located in the hospital Atrium Level 2.

Travel Directions

From the North:
SH1 through the Terrace Tunnel to the Basin Reserve.
Around the Basin Reserve then left to Adelaide Road. Continue to the John Street intersection then left into Riddiford Street. Proceed to Mein Street intersection and turn left. Enter left at the Medical School for parking. Alternate parking is available under the Wellington Regional Hospital by turning left at the set of traffic lights just after the John Street intersection.

From the Airport:
Proceed through the Mount Victoria Tunnel and to the Basin Reserve, then as above.

Public Transport

Consult Met Link for bus timetables.


  • Underground parking at the Wellington Regional Hospital: access from Riddiford Street - metered.
  • Beside the Medical School on Mein Street - metered.
  • Free parking may be available on surrounding streets.


Listed below are the names, addresses and telephone numbers of accommodation located near to Wellington Hospital. These are privately run establishments and you will need to contact them directly.

Adelaide Motel:

Address: 209-211 Adelaide Road, Newtown

Phone: (04) 389 8138

Ascot Motor Lodge:

Address: 46 Riddiford Street, Newtown

Phone: (04) 380 0047

Capital City Lodge (long-term accommodation):

Address: 82 Hanson Street, Newtown

Phone: (04) 939 7992

Southgate Motor Inn:

Address: 70-72 Riddiford Street, Newtown

Phone: (04) 939 9292

Wallace Court:

Address: 88 Wallace Street, Mt Cook

Phone: (04) 385 3935


There are several pharmacies near the hospital.

There is also an after-hours pharmacy located next to the Wellington Accident and Urgent Medical Centre, 17 Adelaide Road. Phone (04) 385 8810.

Open Mon to Fri 9am - 11pm,  Sat, Sun and Public Holidays 8am - 11pm.


Security Orderlies (04) 385 5999

Contact Details

Riddiford Street

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Street Address

Riddiford Street

Postal Address

Riddiford Street

Kenepuru Hospital
Kenepuru Drive

This page was last updated at 4:23PM on December 3, 2019. This information is reviewed and edited by Capital & Coast DHB Orthopaedic Service.