Simon understands the world of Orthopaedics can be confusing to you as a patient. You may have questions concerning consultations, surgery, post-operative care, and/or funding for surgery. Here are some answers to a few common questions. If you have any additional concerns please make contact with us, we are happy to help.
1. Do I need a referral to see Simon? Do I need a referral to see Simon?
Yes, the referral can come from your family doctor, physiotherapist, or any healthcare provider. This referral should be sent in before an appointment can be arranged.
2. Should I shave my leg before surgery? Should I shave my leg before surgery?
No, aim to not shave for 7 days prior to surgery. Micro-cuts occur when shaving and become colonized with bacteria, increasing the chance of infection.
3. Can I eat/drink on the morning of surgery? Can I eat/drink on the morning of surgery?
No, you cannot eat or drink within 6 hours of an anaesthetic. Generally, that means nothing to eat or drink from midnight the night before surgery.
You are allowed small amounts of water up to 3 hours before an anaesthetic. If your surgery is going to be in the afternoon, you may be allowed to have some water or even an early (6am) breakfast. Be aware
4. Can I take my medication on the morning of surgery? Can I take my medication on the morning of surgery?
Generally it is okay to take a tablet with a small sip of water. Patients with diabetes should discuss with us first.
5. How long will I be in Hospital? How long will I be in Hospital?
With modern pain control and anesthetic techniques the need to stay in hospital is much less than previously.
Following knee replacement surgery, most patients are discharged within 2-3 days.
Following ACL reconstruction, Knee arthroscopy, Shoulder Arthroscopy, Rotator cuff and Labral repair, you can typically go home the same day. An overnight stay is sometimes required.
6. When can I return to work? When can I return to work?
Simon will discuss this with you as it largely depends on your job. Light duties may be an option for a period.
Knee replacement: 2-6 weeks
Knee arthroscopy: 1-3 days
ACL reconstruction: 2-3 weeks
Shoulder arthroscopy: 1-3 weeks
Rotator cuff repair: 2-6 weeks (with arm in sling)
Labral repair/Stabilisation: 2-6 weeks (with arm in sling)
Knee replacement: 8-12 weeks
Knee arthroscopy: 2-6 weeks
ACL reconstruction: 8-12 weeks
Shoulder arthroscopy: 6-12 weeks
Rotator cuff repair: 12-16 weeks
Labral repair/Stabilisation: 12-16 weeks
7. When can I drive again? When can I drive again?
This depends on the surgery, but in general you cannot drive while using a sling or crutches. For knee surgery, return to driving is quicker if the surgery is on the left side if you have an automatic car.
Some general guidelines:
- Knee replacement: 4-6 weeks
- Knee arthroscopy: 2-3 days
- ACL reconstruction: 2-3 weeks
- Shoulder arthroscopy: 2-3 weeks
- Rotator cuff repair: 4-6 weeks
- Labral repair/Stabilisation: 4-6 weeks
8. When can I travel again? When can I travel again?
Domestic flights within New Zealand and car trips under 3 hours can usually be taken soon after an operation, however please discuss with Simon if you have travel plans within the first 2 weeks following surgery.
For longer trips or international flights in the first 6-12 weeks after surgery, there may be a risk of blood clots (‘deep venous thrombosis’ or DVT). This is more of an issue following major surgery such as knee replacement. If you have any such travel planned discuss with Simon on timing and how to minimize your risk .
9. Will my knee replacement set off a metal detector at the airport? Will my knee replacement set off a metal detector at the airport?
When going through security, be aware that the sensitivity of metal detectors varies and your artificial joint may cause an alarm. Tell the screener about your artificial joint before going through the metal detector.