The ability to drive after lower limb surgery is a very important issue for many people.
The key questions relate to the ability to safely control the vehicle. In order to do this there must be no use of narcotic analgesia (strong painkillers) as these can cause drowsiness and there must be no restriction in ability to control the accelerator and brake pedals.
After knee arthroscopy it may only be a few days before this is possible. After more complex surgery it may be up to six weeks.
Whether the left or right leg is affected and whether the car is automatic or manual also has an influence.
The Department of Transport does not have specific guidelines regarding returning to driving post surgery and requires patients to follow up with their treating surgeon.
The Arthroplasty Society of Australia has a guide to driving after joint replacement that can be accessed here.
If in doubt do not hesitate to ask our team for advice specific to your case.
This is a very important question and in general the aim of our practice is to get people back to full function in as little time as possible.
One issue that has a big effect is whether the injured joint needs time to repair tissue. This is the case with meniscal and cartilage repairs. In these cases the body needs time to generate new tissue and during this time weight bearing is generally restricted. Movement may also be restricted with a brace. It is very unusual to restrict movement and weight bearing for more than 6 weeks. If it is safe to have a lesser time restriction we will always aim for this.
As soon as the healing has progressed enough we encourage full movement and normal weight bearing.
It is important to consider the needs of your specific workplace and role and how soon the joint will be mobile and pain free to allow full return to work.
Our admin team will be happy to assist you with any paperwork required.
This is a very important issue and the biggest concern for many patients in the lead up to surgery.
Some post-operative pain is inevitable but it is one of our main goals to minimise it.
For joint replacement we have a standard post-operative pain program. The anaesthetists involved in your care aim to have good pain control with regional anaesthesia in the first 48 hours post surgery. As the regional anaesthesia wears off you will have pain control using a combination of medications to minimise both pain and side effects.
Arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery generally has much less pain associated with it than joint replacement. The anaesthetic team will still use regional blocks if appropriate and your pain control is a priority.
You will be given a supply of pain medication to take home with you post surgery.
If you require additional pain relief at the time of your postoperative appointment please bring the box that your medication came in to ensure we prescribe the appropriate medication and dosage.
We follow the recommendations made by the Australian Arthroplasty Society which advises patients who have joint prostheses and will be undergoing dental procedures that no routine antibiotic prophylaxis is required.
This is general advice and patients who are immunocompromised or who are undergoing invasive dental treatment should consult with their dentist prior to the procedure.
The full position statement can be accessed here.
If in doubt please contact our rooms for further recommendations.
The short answer is yes. Ben Jeffcote is able to see uninsured patients in the private rooms for consultations, standard consultation fees apply.
Uninsured patients requiring surgical intervention will be given the option to self-fund their surgery in the private sector or be referred to Mr Jeffcote’s public waiting lists at either Fremantle Hospital or Rockingham General Hospital, usual waiting periods for the public waiting lists will apply.
It's important to note that if you elect to have surgery in the public health system and your residential address is outside of the catchment area determined by the public health system for Fremantle or Rockingham your surgery will be reallocated to your nearest hospital and a surgeon.
The expected lifespan of a joint replacement is an integral factor in the decision making process for most patients. It is true that joint replacements do have a limited lifespan and will , in time, require revision. Until recently there was limited standardised data to indicate the average lifespan of a joint replacement.
Studies published in The Lancet medical journal in February 2019 collated data from the United Kingdom, Australia and across Scandinavia to establish the survival rates of various joint replacements.
The study concluded that approximately 82% of total knee replacements, 70% of partial knee replacements and 58% of hip replacements last for 25 years.
For more information and to view the original journal articles in full please follow the following links:
These articles are available under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).