What is Orthogeriatrics

Many patients who require orthopaedic surgery or neurosurgery have long term conditions which compromise their ability to walk, care for themselves and to enjoy life to the full. Often, these conditions, such as chronic osteoarthritis affecting the spine, hips, knees, hands, shoulders and other areas, result in long term loss of strength and endurance, further complicating the situation. This threatens quality of life and independence.

Many of these people are older and may have other medical problems that require special attention and optimisation prior to their operation, as well as regular monitoring and management by a physician during their recovery period after the operation. This is particularly important in people with dementia and mental illness, as well as those with fragile conditions such as lung and heart conditions. Many Geriatricians specialise in management of these complex patients to get ready for an operation and recover afterward. Your surgeon may call on us to assess you and manage your medical problems around the time of your operation.

In addition to surgically repairing or replacing the affected joints and other problems, many of these patients benefit from a program of rehabilitation after their operation. The same Geriatrician will often then assess and coordinate your transfer into the rehabilitation unit as soon as possible after the operation to begin restoring your function including strength, endurance and confidence, as well as continuing to manage your medical problems to assist your recovery medically and physically.