We have put together a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please feel free to get in touch
How do I arrange an appointment?
Please contact the office via phone or email. We will then be in touch to arrange a suitable time. The office staff will run through what is required. Clinics run on Monday/Wednesday and Thursday. Operating theatre days are Tuesdays and Fridays. A confirmation letter and text message will be sent out close to the appointment date.
Do I need a referral letter?
We generally will require a referral letter from your GP or physiotherapist in the majority of cases for a new referral. This is actually a requirement of the insurance companies. We can also gather accurate and appropriate information on current / past medical history and prescribed medications. If this is proving difficult to obtain, please discuss first with the office staff.
Will I need an X-Ray?
For individuals over the age of 55 the most appropriate initial investigation for knee pain is a simple weight bearing X-Ray. This can be arranged on the day of your appointment in the Sports Surgery Clinic. All patients with osteoarthritic issues, particularly if in potential need of surgery, will also require an XR.
Will I need an MRI
Not all referrals and presentations require an MRI scan. Most young individuals with traumatic or sporting injuries will need an MRI and also for patients in which an X-Ray has perhaps proven non-diagnostic. An MRI, if necessary, can usually be arranged here at SSC before the appointment and often be facilitated on the same day prior to the initial assessment. If an MRI has been performed in another institution the scan disc with the images should be brought along on the day for review.
What should I wear?
For full assessment, exposure of the knee and surrounds will usually be necessary. Loose fitting clothing, shorts etc will make this much easier.
How long will my appointment take?
This will depend on the case complexity, but a typical new appointment will take in the region of 20-30 mins. We make every effort to try to run on time, but on busy days please be prepared that clinics can sometimes run behind. If you can’t make your appointment or are delayed a courtesy call would be much appreciated.
Will my insurance cover my surgery?
If surgery is recommended, the office staff here will be able to supply you with a surgical code which you will then need to check with your insurance providers. Most policies will offer cover for procedures here in SSC. If in doubt and for peace of mind we strongly recommend that you please do check with your own provider.
Where does surgery take place?
All procedures under my care will be performed here in the SSC. More specific admission details and times will be supplied by the admissions department within the hospital.
What is the wait for surgery?
Most day case arthroscopic procedures and Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstructions can be facilitated within 2-3 weeks. If a case is deemed urgent then it can be arranged sooner. For knee replacements there is often more to plan, and a medical pre-assessment is necessary. If all is routine, then generally a joint replacement can be arranged within a 4-6 week window.
When do I go home after surgery?
Arthroscopic procedures are generally all day cases and performed in the morning with discharge around 2pm. Ligament reconstruction patients need an overnight stay and are cleared for discharge the morning after surgery. A joint replacement patient will usually be safe for discharge after 4 days.
When do I stop eating before surgery?
This information will be supplied in the admission letter sent out by the clinic. In general, the anaesthetist will require a patient to be starved and nil by mouth for a minimum 6 hours pre-surgery.
When can I drive?
For most day case procedures patients can drive once they can safely perform an emergency stop and the anaesthetic agents have been cleared by the body. I’d usually recommend waiting at least 3 days. With ACL surgery I would generally recommend waiting 4-6 weeks and after more major interventions such as a knee replacement then you will not be safe to drive for 6 weeks. If the operated leg is on the left and you have an automatic car, it is sometimes feasible to drive earlier depending on comfort.
When can I fly?
It is generally recommended not to fly after surgery (particularly long haul >4hours) to minimise the risk of a deep vein thrombosis for a 6 week period. Therefore all non-essential flights should be avoided. If a short haul flight is necessary and a minor procedure has been performed, then please discuss at the consultation. Occasionally we can administer anti-coagulation medication to facilitate urgent or essential travel.
Will I have stitches?
In the vast majority of cases, most incisions will be managed with dissolving sutures so no additional visit to the GP or dressing clinics will be necessary. This will be clarified by nursing staff on discharge.
Will I be followed up?
Yes, after a day case arthroscopy, one further appointment is necessary at 2 weeks. For ACL reconstructions I would tend to see you at 2 weeks, 3 months and 9 months. Following a knee replacement most will be seen at 2 weeks, 3 months and 1 year. There is obviously variability according to individual patient progression and case complexity.
Where are the appointments?
Please review the address details and directions for the Sports Surgery Clinic. Paid parking is available in basement carpark following the signs. The clinic suite is number 3 and is easily found situated on the ground floor.
What are the risks of surgery?
All surgical interventions unfortunately will carry an element of risk. It is an important part of the decision making when it comes to deciding on potential treatment options. These will include both generic medical issues and those that are more specific to the operation performed. This will be discussed in detail during your consultation if a surgical treatment is recommended. The pros and cons of intervention and alternative non-surgical options will be mentioned.
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