Joint Replacement Surgery
Patient Handout FAQ

Antibiotic Prophylaxis

How long after my initial consultation will I be able to have my surgery?
This depends on the type of surgery being performed, whether further investigations such as an MRI or CT are required, and the availability of theatre.

Overseas Travel
When planning surgery, travel is not recommended under 10-12 weeks post joint replacement.
Arthroscopic surgery, depending on recovery, travel is not recommended under 6-8 weeks.

Will I have any out of pocket expenses for my surgery?
Yes.  Mr Pritchard is a “Known Gap” provider therefore you will have an out of pocket cost.  Item numbers are provided for your specific surgery to enable you to check your level of cover with your health fund (co-payments may apply, depending on your health fund policy).
Other costs associated with surgery include hospital, anaesthetist, surgical assistant, pathology, radiology and general physician (if required).
Surgery fees are discussed at the time of consultation with Mr Pritchard.

What if I do not have private health insurance?
A quote for Mr Pritchard’s fee and for the hospital are provided if you elect to have surgery privately.  You are able to claim a portion of Mr Pritchard’s fee and the anaesthetic fee from Medicare.  The hospital costs are payable on admission – you are not able to claim a benefit from Medicare.

If you elect to have surgery through the public system, you will be required to make an appointment at the Royal Hobart Hospital Outpatient Clinic to be placed on the surgical waiting list.  (Tasmanian residents only).

Mr Pritchard does not work in the public system.


How long until I can walk after hip arthroscopy surgery?
Everyone is slightly different in their response to the surgery.  The majority feel good enough to walk the next day, with crutches for support.  Where bone is removed, it is a good idea to only put a small amount of weight on the leg, and use crutches while it is still painful.

Normal things after hip arthroscopic surgery
It is normal to feel some discomfort and perhaps some swelling in the groin, thigh, lower back and buttock regions.  Occasionally patients have some numbness or tingling in the foot, leg, groin, or genitalia, which resolves.

Can I change the dressing?
Yes.  It is normal for the wounds to ooze some fluid.

When can I drive after hip arthroscopic surgery?
You should not drive in the first 48 hours after an anaesthetic.  It is reasonable to drive when you have good movement, can walk and put weight on the operated leg.
An indication of when you can return to driving:

  • when you are pain free
  • no longer require pain medication
  • walking without a limp
  • no longer require the use of crutches.

When do I start Physiotherapy?
A physiotherapist will see you prior to discharge from hospital.  We recommend dedicated hip physiotherapy services for your convenience and recovery speed.

When can I return to work after hip arthroscopic surgery?
This varies considerably with type of work, and details of procedure.  Some return after a week or so, others take longer.  Generally, the majority of patients are back to office-type work within 2 weeks.

How long will hip arthroscopy take to heal?
The incisions are healed between 7 and 14 days.  You will have dissolvable sutures, and the wound is checked at followup at approximately 2 weeks post surgery.  Most patients improve dramatically in the first 6 weeks and continue to get better over the next year.  This is heavily dependent on the amount of damage to the lining of the hip, or arthritis found at the time of surgery.  It is not unusual to have times where the hip becomes quite sore and then settles again.  This is part of the normal healing process.