FAQ

1. What are your business hours?

Business hours:

Monday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Tuesday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Wednesday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Thursday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday: CLOSED
Sunday: CLOSED
(closed public holidays)

2. What are your practice locations?

Shellharbour Private Hospital

Shellharbour Specialist Centre
27 Captain Cook Drive
Barrack Heights  NSW  2528

Wollongong Private Hospital

Suite 701
Level 7
360-364 Crown Street
Wollongong  NSW  2500

Campbelltown:

Suite 20, Level 1, 42 Parkside Crescent,
Campbelltown NSW 2560

Chipping Norton:

Level 1, 105-119 Longstaff Avenue,
Chipping Norton NSW 2170

3. Can x-rays be done?

An x-ray facility is available onsite at Campbelltown and Chipping Norton and services are located within close proximity to the Camden rooms.

4. Do I need a doctor's referral to make an appointment?

As a Specialist clinic, patients need referral from their General Practitioner, family physician or other doctor to make an appointment at our clinic.

5. What should I bring with me when I come for an appointment?

When you come for your appointment Remember to get the following:

  • Medicare or the veteran affairs card.
  • Referral letter from your GP, family physician or other doctor.
  • Have your insurance information.
  • Copies of operation records, medical records, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans and so on from prior doctor visits.
  • If you have seen a physiotherapist, please bring a progress letter from the therapist.
  • If you have had surgery elsewhere, please bring a copy of your operation report.
  • Any cash payment for excess or self insured patient.

6. What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is caused by the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage is the tough elastic material that covers and protects the ends of bones. Bits of cartilage may break off and cause pain and swelling in the joint between bones. This pain and swelling is called inflammation. Over time the cartilage may wear away entirely, and the bones will rub together. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but usually affects hips, knees, hands and spine.

7. Will physical therapy be required after surgery?

Major surgery on a joint may take two or three hours in the operating room. Getting a full range of motion, strength and flexibility back in that joint after surgery usually takes months. That’s where pre-operative exercise and education and post-operative physiotherapy programs come in – to ensure you’re physically and emotionally prepared for surgery, and to maximise your recovery after surgery. Together, such programs are among the most important determinants in the success of your surgery.

Associate Professor Ireland’s joint replacement patients are encouraged to transfer to Campbelltown Private Hospital Rehabilitation Centre for a full rehab program individualised to their needs which includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, Rydotherapy, etc.

8. Why is Arthroscopy necessary?

Diagnosing joint injuries and disease begins with a thorough medical history, physical examination, and usually X-rays. Additional tests such as an MRI, or CT also scan may be needed. Through the arthroscope, a final diagnosis is made which may be more accurate than through “open” surgery or from X-ray studies.

9. What are the joints that can be viewed by a Arthroscope?

Although the inside of nearly all joints can be viewed with an arthroscope, six joints are most frequently examined with this instrument. These include the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, and wrist. As engineers make advances in electronic technology and orthopaedic surgeons develop new techniques, other joints may be treated more frequently in the future.

10. What are the conditions that can be treated by Arthroscopy?

Some problems associated with arthritis also can be treated. Several disorders are treated
with a combination of arthroscopic and standard surgery.

Disease and injuries can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Some
of the most frequent conditions found during arthroscopic examinations of joints are:

Inflammation

Synovitis – inflamed lining (synovium) in knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle.

Injury – acute and chronic

Shoulder – rotator cuff tendon tears, impingement syndrome, and recurrent dislocations

Knee – meniscal (cartilage) tears, chondromalacia (wearing or injury of cartilage cushion),
and anterior cruciate ligament tears with instability

Wrist – carpal tunnel syndrome

Loose bodies of bone and/or cartilage – knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, or wrist

11. What causes shoulder problems?

Most shoulder problems are the result of overuse or traumatic injury. Athletes who participate in contact sports, such as hockey or football, often suffer shoulder injuries. Frequent lifting and repetitive arm rotation can also cause wear and tear on the shoulder. Inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and bursitis may develop over time.

12. What are the types and causes arthritis in the knee

Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease – the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as “wear and tear arthritis” since the cartilage simply wears out. When cartilage wears away, bone rubs on bone causing severe pain and disability. The most frequent reason for osteoarthritis is genetic, since the durability of each individual’s cartilage is based on genetics.

Trauma – can also lead to osteoarthritis. A bad fall or blow to the knee can injure the joint. If the injury does not heal properly, extra force may be placed on the joint, which over time can cause the cartilage to wear away.

Inflammatory Arthritis – swelling and heat (inflammation) of the joint lining causes a release of enzymes which soften and eventually destroy the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus and psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory in nature.

13. What is a hip replacement?

A hip replacement involves a surgical procedure to replace part or all of a diseased or damaged hip joint with an artificial substitute—a prosthetic hip joint. The operation to replace or mend a joint is known as ‘arthroplasty’. The aim of a hip replacement is to alleviate pain and restore function in the hip joint.

14. When is a hip replacement necessary?

A hip replacement may become necessary to prevent pain and increase mobility if your hip joint is damaged as a result of disease or injury. The most common cause of hip replacements is osteoarthritis, but the procedure may also be necessary for people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, bone tumours or a fractured femur (thigh bone).

Hip replacements may not be recommended for people who have a high likelihood of injury, such as people with Parkinson’s disease or a significant weakness of the muscles.

15. What is the difference between standard hip replacement and hip resurfacing?

The traditional treatment of a patient that required a hip replacement has been a stem-type replacement. The decision to perform a hip resurfacing is determined by diagnosis, the age of the patient, the patient’s level of activity and expectations.

The hip resurfacing offers a long-term outcome for young and active patients while saving bone for later revision when necessary. This conservative approach to hip replacement accounts for the popularity of the procedure.

16. How is my new hip different?

You may feel some numbness in the skin around your incision. You also may feel some stiffness, particularly with excessive bending. These differences often diminish with time and most patients find these are minor compared to the pain and limited function they experienced prior to surgery.

Your new hip may activate metal detectors required for security in airports and some buildings. Tell the security agent about your hip replacement if the alarm is activated.

17. What is the length of expectancy of the resurfaced hip?

The average expectancy ranges from five to twenty years depending upon the activity level of the patient.

18. What causes arthritis in the knee?

Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease – the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as “wear and tear arthritis” since the cartilage simply wears out. When cartilage wears away, bone rubs on bone causing severe pain and disability. The most frequent reason for osteoarthritis is genetic, since the durability of each individual’s cartilage is based on genetics.

Trauma – can also lead to osteoarthritis. A bad fall or blow to the knee can injure the joint. If the injury does not heal properly, extra force may be placed on the joint, which over time can cause the cartilage to wear away.

Inflammatory Arthritis – swelling and heat (inflammation) of the joint lining causes a release of enzymes which soften and eventually destroy the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus and psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory in nature.

19. What is the difference between total knee replacement and unicompartmental knee replacement?

Knee replacement is removing the edges of the joint that have been diseased by degeneration or trauma. Knee resurfacing is like a retread. The only part of the joint that is resurfaced is the side of the joint that is diseased.

20. What is revision knee surgery and how is it different to knee replacement?

Revision surgery is different in that the original components are removed and new components are implanted. The technical aspects of the surgery are more complex than the original total knee replacement. However, the preparation for surgery and hospital experience tend to be very similar to the primary knee replacement.

21. What happens if my knee gets infected?

If a knee is infected the patient is first given antibiotics. If the infection does not clear up, the implant will have to be taken out and the patient is scheduled for revision surgery. The original components are removed and a block of polyethylene cement treated with antibiotics (known as a “spacer block”) is inserted into the knee joint for six weeks. During this time the patient is also treated with intravenous (I.V.) antibiotics. After a minimum of six weeks, new knee components are implanted.

22. How is my new knee different?

You may feel some numbness in the skin around your incision. You also may feel some stiffness, particularly with excessive bending activities. Improvement of knee motion is a goal of total knee replacement, but restoration of full motion is uncommon. The motion of your knee replacement after surgery is predicted by the motion of your knee prior to surgery. Most patients can expect to nearly fully straighten the replaced knee and to bend the knee sufficiently to go up and down stairs and get in and out of a car. Kneeling is usually uncomfortable, but it is not harmful. Occasionally, you may feel some soft clicking of the metal and plastic with knee bending or walking. These differences often diminish with time and most patients find these are minor, compared to the pain and limited function they experienced prior to surgery.

Your new knee may activate metal detectors required for security in airports and some buildings. Tell the security agent about your knee replacement if the alarm is activated. Find out more from your doctor on Special precautions and special exercise programs.

23. Some common terms defined

Flexion: Bending, decreasing the joint angle

 

Extensions: Straightening, increasing the joint angle

 

Adduction: Moving toward midline

 

Abduction: Moving away from midline

 

Circumduction: Moving in a circular fashion

 

Internal Rotation: Turning toward midline

 

External Rotation: Turning away from midline

 

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