What is an orthopaedic surgeon?
An orthopaedic surgeon is a specialist medical doctor who specialises in the treatment of the musculoskeletal system - for example, bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. An orthopaedic surgeon is a highly trained medical professional who treats fractures, dislocations, arthritis and joint pain.
What is a nurse practitioner?
Nurse practitioners are highly skilled autonomous health professionals who have advanced education, clinical training and demonstrated competency. They have the legal authority to practice beyond the level of a registered nurse.
Nurse practitioners combine their advanced nursing knowledge and skills with diagnostic reasoning and therapeutic knowledge with a similar scope of service as a doctor. They provide care for people with both common and complex conditions. There are now more than 500 of these skilled health professionals working around New Zealand.
How can I arrange an appointment?
Your general practitioner, nurse practitioner, physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath, podiatrist or medical specialist can arrange a referral for you. Patients are also welcome to call and request an appointment without a referral. We may need to contact your GP to ensure we have all your relevant medical information.
How quickly will I get an appointment?
When we first receive your referral, one of our clinical team will "triage" it. This involves looking at the referral, any available imaging, deciding if any additional imaging is needed and how urgently you need to be seen. The urgency of your referral is dependent on the condition you are experiencing and the severity of your symptoms. If your referral is considered urgent, you will be seen within a month, If it's considered semi-urgent, you will be seen within 2 months. Our current wait time for conditions that aren't considered urgent/semi-urgent is approximately 4 months. If your condition changes while you are waiting to see us, please let our admin team know.
What can I expect at my first appointment?
At your first appointment, a detailed history regarding your current problem will be taken, along with a relevant examination. All previous investigations, current medication and treatment to date will also be discussed. Based on the information gathered, further investigations or treatment recommendations will be made. Depending on your needs, it is possible you may also see other health professionals during the course of your treatment to ensure you get the best possible care.
How long will my first consultation take?
It is important that during the first appointment adequate time is available to review in detail your presenting problem. An initial consultation will take 30 - 45 minutes and include examination, x-ray assessment and discussion about your treatment options. For those patients requiring up-to-date x-rays extra time to attend a radiology appointment prior to the assessment will also be required.
Who can come to my appointment?
You are encouraged to bring a support person/s along to your first appointment if you wish. Please also write down a list of questions if you have them to discuss. If your support person is unable to attend in person, a video conference can be arranged (please let us know if advance if you require this). If you wish to have copy of your clinic letter, please request this at the time of the appointment.
What do I need to bring to the appointment?
Most of the information we require has been forwarded to us from your referrer. However to ensure there are no issues, it can be helpful for you to bring any referral notes from your GP or Physio and also your ACC claim number if applicable. Any insurance policy numbers can be sourced after the appointment if required. If you're not sure, please contact our admin team and they will help you through the process. Also, if you have x-rays please bring them on a disc or in hardcopy (older printed x-rays).
Do I need an x-ray before I come to the appointment?
Not necessarily. Most commonly, your referrer has arranged the necessary imaging before referring to us. Once we have received your referral, we review it and check no additional imaging is required. We will contact you if any imaging is required before your appointment. We have x-ray facilities on the Southern Cross site. If required you can usually get an x-ray at the same appointment.
If your condition is related to an ACC injury, for which you have cover; there may be a surcharge for your imaging. If this poses a problem for you, please let our admin team know.
What is the cost of a consultation?
For new patients visiting the clinic for the first time, fees range from $250 to $340 depending on duration and complexity. If you have an ACC injury related problem the total cost of your appointment at STRIDE will be covered by ACC. The cost of follow-up appointments varies depending on the time and services involved.
What is the cost of surgery?
If an operation has been recommended to you, our staff will be able to provide you with a price indicator for your surgery. This can be a confusing area and we will help you understand your surgery costs. We can also help with your paperwork, hospital admissions and health insurance claims.
In general, the costs of an operation includes fees from:
the surgical assistant
If you are privately insured, it’s important that you contact your health insurer to confirm the amount of the operation that they will cover.
How much will I receive from my private health insurer?
It depends on what operation you are having, your private health insurer and level of cover.
Our staff will provide you with a quote for the surgery. You should ring your private health insurer to find out how much your private health insurance will cover.
What if I don't have private insurance?
You don’t need to have private health insurance to be treated in a private hospital. You can choose to ‘self fund’ This means that you will pay the full bill for the surgical, anaesthetic and hospital costs. Our staff can provide you a price indicator for the cost of surgery, including your surgical and hospital costs.
Are you an affiliated provider for Southern Cross Insurance members?
Yes. This means Southern Cross members can use their insurance to receive joint replacement surgery. Operations are performed at Southern Cross hospital or St George's Hospital.
What do I need to know if am listed for an operation?
You will be provided with detailed instructions regarding your operation preparation for your operation including appointment times and locations, as well as guidance for fasting.
What medications do I need to stop taking pre surgery ?
Unless specifically instructed otherwise by your surgeon, physician, or anaesthetist, please observe the following guidelines for taking medications before your surgery:
Two weeks prior to surgery please stop all non-prescription supplements / alternative medicines as these can cause significant clotting abnormalities and can interact with anaesthetics in an unpredictable manner.
Five days prior to surgery stop all Warfarin.
Three days prior to surgery stop all Glifozins.
On the morning of surgery
Do not take digitalis medicines (e.g. Digoxin) or ACE inhibitors (e.g. cilazapril/enalapril) and DAR blockers (e.g. candesartan/losartan)
Do not take oral anti-diabetes medicines.
IF YOU TAKE INSULIN, ASK YOUR MEDICAL DOCTOR ABOUT THE PROPER DOSE ON THE MORNING OF YOUR SURGERY. Most often, they will recommend about one and a half of your usual morning insulin dose (but ask anyway). DO NOT TAKE your morning insulin dose if you are driving a great distance the morning of your surgery.
Remove nicotine patches.
If you have any further questions relating to medication please ask Courtney at your pre op appointment.
Can you refer me to the public hospital if surgical treatment is recommended?
Yes. However, due to high demand, there is currently restricted access to the public health system. Seeing us privately will not increase your chances of accessing public hospital care. We are currently able to refer you to the public system but this is through the same channels your family doctor has access to. Only if you have a condition which is normally seen urgently in the public sector (e.g. cancer or rapidly worsening neurological function) can treatment be expedited.