Private Orthopaedic Surgery
After thirty years of practice, I understand the frustration that many Canadians have with long waiting lists to see an orthopaedic surgeon. I also understand why more and more Canadians are exploring private surgical consults and surgery.
Even with an abnormal MRI and waiting up to a year to see a surgeon, up to 75% of patients will not be offered surgery.
Rather than wasting a year waiting to see a surgeon, the big question is whether there is another way to find out the probability of requiring surgery without getting an MRI or waiting for months.
Published research conducted at the University of British Columbia found that experienced orthopaedic physiotherapists were four times better at identifying patients requiring surgery than emergency room physicians and family physicians (1). Experienced orthopaedic physiotherapists were accurate ninety percent of the time (in identifying the patients requiring surgery), versus emergency room physicians and family physicians who were accurate twenty-two percent of the time (1).
It was noted by the researchers, that adopting a physiotherapy triage model could result in reducing surgical consult wait times by seventy-five percent (1).
In my clinical experience, a large number of patients referred to a surgeon , have either been (1) misdiagnosed by their family physician and / or (2) received inappropriate or inadequate treatment for their condition.
Without an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, patients are prejudiced to fail and not improve – but this doesn’t mean these patients need to see a surgeon. With an accurate clinical diagnosis and appropriate treatment, it’s my experience that patients have a high probability of getting better without seeing a surgeon or undergoing surgery.
My recommendation to anyone with an orthopaedic condition is to see the most experienced orthopaedic physiotherapist in your community for a ‘triage assessment‘ to (1) conduct a unhurried physical examination, (2) to provide you with an accurate clinical diagnosis of your condition, (3) to educate you on your prognosis and evidence-based treatment methods for your condition and (4) to determine the probability that you require a surgical consult and surgery.
“A referral to an orthopaedic surgeon for elective surgery, without a supporting letter from an experienced orthopaedic physiotherapist, is like applying for a job without references. Rather than waiting six to nine months to learn the probability of surgery, see an experienced orthopaedic physiotherapist and get answers today.” – Terry Kane PT
If have any questions, I invite you to contact me at email@example.com.
Terry Kane, Registered Physiotherapist (Calgary, AB)
Founder / Owner, OrthopaedicsCanada.com
Professional Website: www.terrykane.ca
- A physiotherapy triage service for orthopaedic surgery: an effective strategy for reducing wait times. Napier, C , McCormack RG, Hunt, MA, Brooks-Hill A, Physiother Can. 2013 Fall;65(4):358-63
Surgical Wait Times
Surgical wait times do not represent the waiting time to see an orthopaedic surgeon for the first time.
Surgical wait times represent the number of days between when a surgeon offers surgery to when you actually undergo the surgery.