What are your business hours?
Our practice hours are from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made by telephoning our practice at (02) 9489 9611.
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.
What are the joints that can be viewed with an 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.
Will physical therapy be required after surgery?
Major surgery on a joint may take two or three hours in the operating room. Getting 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.
Do I need a doctor's referral to make an appointment with Dr. Brooks?
As a Specialist clinic, patients need referral from their General Practitioner, family physician or other doctor to make an appointment with Dr. Brooks.
What should I bring with me when I come for an appointment?
When you come for your appointment remember to bring the following:
- Referral letter from GP, family physician or other doctor
- Medicare card, DVA card, Pension Card
- Have your Private Hospital Insurance information with you
- Reports, X-rays, MRI's, CT scans etc and any other relevant information
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.
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 Parkinsons disease or a significant weakness of the muscles.
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 patients level of activity and expectations. The hip resurfacing is supposed to offer 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.
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.
What are the complications of Hip replacement surgery?
Any surgery has risks. There are many risks associated with Hip replacement surgery. However, in the hands of a well-trained, dedicated orthopaedic surgeon, these risks should be quite low. The most common complication is blood clots in the legs. The most serious complication is infection. The most important long-term complication is loosening.
Total Hip Replacement is discussed elsewhere in this website, click here to go to that section.
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 individuals 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.
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. Unicompartmental Knee Replacement simply means that only a part of the knee joint is replaced through a smaller incision than would normally be used for a total knee replacement. The knee joint is made up of 3 compartments, the patellofemoral and medial and lateral compartments between the femur and tibia (i.e. the long bones of the leg). Often only one of these compartments wears out, usually the medial one. If you have symptoms and X-ray findings suggestive of this then you may be suitable for this procedure.
What is revision knee surgery? how is it different to the 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.
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.
What are the complications of knee replacement surgery?
Any surgery has risks. There are many risks associated with knee replacement surgery. However, in the hands of a well-trained, dedicated orthopaedic surgeon, these risks should be quite low. It is fair to say that you have about a 96% chance that you will go through the operation without any significant complication occurring. The most common complication is blood clots in the legs. The most serious complication is infection. The most important long-term complication is loosening.
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.
Medicare & Insurance
What about your fees?
The standard fee charged in this office is the Australian Medical Association recommended fee. This means that in most instances there will be a moiety of your surgical fee which will not be covered by Medicare and your health fund. If there is any problem with this it is important that you ask about this gap. My staff are fully informed with changes and rebates and will be able to help you navigate you way through this area of your procedure.
What are your acceptable means of payment?
Fees will be reviewed with you at the consultation visit. Payment during the consultation is appreciated. Payment is required prior to your scheduled date of surgery.
Cash or credit cards (MasterCard, VISA) are acceptable means of payment. For bank and personal cheque please make prior arrangements with the reception.
Do I need to have private health insurance?
Private Health insurance allows you and your family to access the right health services at the right time. You have control of your health care and can choose the provider, facility and timing of your treatment. With the security and protection of private health insurance, you have access to an extensive range of private hospitals and can rest assured that your health is in good hands.
Will my insurance cover all your treatments?
Insurance will only cover medical treatments. Cosmetic treatments are not covered.
What are the Medicare rules about referrals to specialists?
If you want Medicare to help to pay for specialist medical services at the referred rate, it is essential to discuss your condition and possible referral with your family doctor before you see the specialist. Please note that the backdating of referrals is illegal and can result in heavy fines and prison sentences. If you have any questions about seeing medical specialists or about the Medicare benefits system, please ask your family doctor or contact Medicare on 13 2011.