FAQ's

About my appointment

How do I make an appointment?

The surgeons at MHK consult at many locations across Melbourne, but for all appointments please contact our main office on 03 9882 7753.

Please call the above number even if you wish to be seen by one of our surgeons at a location other than the Hawthorn East rooms. Alternatively, you can contact us through this website (using the Enquiry form or via the Contact Us page) and one of our staff will call you. You will need to bring a referral letter to your appointment.

What should I bring to my appointment?

For your appointment, we ask that you please bring the following:

  • Your Referral from your GP, local doctor or specialist.
  • X-rays, MRI scans or other images you may have (not just the report)
  • Medicare card
  • Private Health Insurance Details

What do I have to do for my operation?

Before surgery we will need to ensure that you are fit enough for an operation. After filling out a questionnaire you might need some tests before your operation. If you have multiple medical issues or are undergoing a large operation we may ask you to see a Specialist Physician who can help further assess you.

You should discuss your medication with your GP, surgeon and anaesthetist to see which ones you should stop before surgery. It is particularly important that you notify us if you are on any blood thinning medication such as Warfarin or Plavix.

If you have any concerns with your health or have an infection or illness, let your surgeon know before your operation.

Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.

About my operation

When is the right time for surgery?

This will very much depend on what your symptoms are. Most orthopaedic problems do not need to be treated urgently but can cause significant pain. Minor aches and pains are part of life, but when symptoms are interfering with your desired lifestyle and are making you miserable it's time to seek help.

Discuss your problem with your GP.

Is there anything I can do instead of an operation?

Medication

Painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets can help. Start with something simple such as panadol which is very safe. If you require something stronger discuss it with your doctor.

Weight loss

Every extra kilo you carry is putting more stress on your joints. Losing weight can significantly help your symptoms and if you are having an operation it will make your recovery easier. Your GP can help you develop a weight loss plan.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists are highly trained and can teach you exercises to strengthen your limbs, improve the amount of movement in your joints, as well as show you ways to avoid pain and recover from injuries.

Walking aids

Walking sticks and crutches may help you walk better.

Glucosamine

Some people feel less pain from their joints when taking glucosamine. It can be bought from the supermarket or chemist and is cheap and safe.

Braces

After a severe injury, you may be recommended a specific brace. Some people feel better wearing a supportive or elastic type brace.

Are there any risks to having an operation?

All operations have some potential risks. The bigger the operation and the more health problems you have, the higher the risk.

These are the most common (but not all) the potential risks. All of this will be discussed with you by your surgeon. Despite these risks most operation have no complications and the patients have a successful outcome!

Anaesthetic

The anaesthetic is a stress on the body and there is always a very small risk of a heart attack or stroke. If you have no risk factors for these your risk is minimal.

Infection

Any time a cut is made in your skin there is a small risk of infection. Your skin is washed with antiseptic solution before the operation and if any metal is being put into your body you will be given antibiotics to try and decrease this risk.

Artificial joints

If you receive an artificial joint please remember that this is not the same as being given a new human joint. The artificial joint is a piece of machinery that will eventually wear out, it can also break, come loose or give you an unstable joint.

Pain

In an operation when a cut is made there is the potential for this to cause some pain. This is a necessary part of most operations but our team of; nurses, physiotherapists, the anaesthetist and surgeon are all working together to try and minimize your pain. Sometimes however, pain can continue despite what looks to be a well performed operation. This may be due to the formation of scar tissue.

Scars

Scar tissue in the joint can cause stiffness after surgery. Normally this will improve over time and with exercise and physiotherapy.

Blood clots

Deep venous thrombosis/Pulmonary embolism (blood clots) can happen to anyone, especially if you are a smoker or on the oral contraceptive pill. After major surgery you will be given medication to thin the blood and decrease this risk. After minor surgery the risk is low so we don’t routinely give prophylaxis against clots. If you get calf pain and or swelling after an operation this may be a sign of a blood clot. Please contact your Doctor. If you get chest pain and/ or shortness of breath this could be a sign of a blood clot going to your lungs (Pulmonary embolus) Please seek emergency medical care.

Important structures

The major Nerves and Blood vessels in your leg are near to where we operate. There is always a small chance that these can be damaged in an operation.

How much will it cost?

The cost to you will depend on what your health insurance will cover and what policy you have, please speak to our receptionist for a quote for your operation. See also Fees page

How long will I be in hospital?

This depends on your operation and you. Normally for an arthroscope you will leave on the same day, after an ACL reconstruction, you can leave the next day but for a joint replacement you may be in hospital from between 3 and 7 days.

Normal activities

When you leave hospital, we aim to have you walking, but you might need a gait aid for support. Your physiotherapist can guide you as to how quickly you can resume normal activities such as driving and sport.

Work

To be able to work you need to be able to get there and then get around work. Are there stairs? Do you have to walk a long way? Are you on your feet all day or is there room to stretch your leg at your desk? These will all influence when you are safe to return to work.

About my recovery

How will I get home from hospital?

You will need someone to take you home from hospital after your operation. I will also be helpful to have someone stay with you until you are properly back on your feet.

Will I still have pain after my operation?

Unfortunately, most operations cause some pain and you may be worse immediately after the operation than you were before. This should improve quickly but with a big operation such as a knee replacement can take many weeks to recover from.

Will I need crutches?

Most people will need crutches after an operation on their hip or knee. The staff will help you with these.

What happens to my wound?

Before leaving hospital, the nursing staff will give you instructions on how to look after your wound if there are stitches or staples to be taken out they will advise or arrange this for you.

When is my next appointment?

Before leaving hospital, you will be given specific instructions for your follow up appointment.