Author Archives: David Slattery

Dr Slattery (FRACS MBBS (Hons) LLB FAOrthoA) is an internationally fellowship trained and recognised specialist in complex pelvic, hip and knee surgery. He specialises in anterior minimally invasive hip replacement, periacetabular osteotomy, and hip arthroscopy, as well as the latest in hip and knee replacement surgical techniques. Click here to view full author biography.

Rehabilitation After Hip Replacement Surgery

If you’re considering hip replacement surgery, one of the key areas you’ll discuss with your healthcare professional is your post-operative recovery.  Dr David Slattery has extensive experience in complex hip surgery, with specialisations in minimally invasive muscle sparing hip replacement and hip arthroscopy. Central to his practice is patient communication – to that end, Dr Slattery has prepared this article outlining a few key points about post-operative rehabilitation and recovery after hip replacement surgery. Is rehabilitation necessary? Rehabilitation after an operation can help you return to your previous level of activity sooner. Hip replacement is a major operation which your body needs time to recover from. Following a proper rehabilitation program can ensure that your body has the best chance of recuperating after the surgery, strengthening the muscles around your new joint and allowing you to get back to life.  What is involved in rehabilitation?  Rehabilitation can take various forms depending on the specific needs of the patient after surgery, but broadly can encompass a programme of rest, targeted exercise, physical therapy and assisted movement. You’ll begin exercising before you’re upright, doing basic seated exercises while in hospital in order to begin to strengthen the surrounding muscle. From two weeks after your operation, more vigorous – but still low-impact – exercise such as a stationary bike, with hydrotherapy recommended from four weeks.  Additionally, you’ll be required to walk with the assistance of crutches or a walker for up to four weeks. Walking on your new hip is one of the best ways to strengthen it, so walking for exercise purposes is recommended from eight weeks onwards. Expect to see a slow return to all activities and pre-operative levels of strength and balance over the following months, with some patients taking a full year to regain everything.  What is enhanced recovery after surgery & can it help me?  Enhanced recovery after surgery is a series of evidence-based practices employed before, during and after a procedure in order to help patients recover as quickly and as fully as possible. Within the context of hip replacement surgery, enhanced recovery after surgery could look […]

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement is major surgery, requiring a careful and considered approach to ensure the best and speediest path to recovery. Regardless of what stage you’re at – whether you’re pre-operative and considering hip replacement, a few days out of the hospital or several weeks into your recovery– you’ll most likely have a lot of questions. Dr David Slattery wants to make the hip replacement surgery recovery process as streamlined as possible for every patient, ensuring that they fully understand what they need to do at each stage of their recovery to achieve their optimal health outcomes.  To help you more fully understand your path to recovery after hip replacement, Dr Slattery has prepared this article addressing a couple of common questions he receives from patients during their recovery. Read on and be a more informed patient.  How does recovery from hip replacement work?  Recovery from hip replacement is similar to recovery from any other major surgery – your doctor and other healthcare professionals will work with you to develop a phased recovery plan that gradually returns you to your normal activities. Dr Slattery uses enhanced recovery techniques to expedite your recovery, what used to be many weeks in hospital recovering is now only a matter of days.  Patients are up and mobilising day 1 after the procedure with the assistance of physiotherapy, and a frame or crutches.  From there you steadily progress to being independent with simple activities such as getting dressed, going to the bathroom and moving around the house.  Your recovery involves constantly progressing activities and movements. Initially ankle pumps, leg raises, and heel lifts are done and then progressing to balancing and strength activities using resistance bands.  These build up over time to independent walking without a gait aid.  Most patients are off their crutches and walking well by 4-6 weeks post op.  Overall, it may take up to six months to completely return to all of your previous activities – especially if you’re involved in strenuous activities such as running or cycling.   What kind of pain can occur after hip replacement surgery?  If you’ve previously had […]

What is Robotic Knee Replacement?

Recent advances in technology are changing the way many orthopaedic surgeons – including Dr David Slattery – are conducting common procedures. Key amongst these is the rise in the use of robotic knee replacement as an option for patients suffering from various forms of arthritis as well as other conditions. But what is it, and is it right for your condition?  In this blog, we take a look at what sets robotic knee replacement apart from traditional methods, helping you determine whether it’s something worth discussing with your medical professional.  Greater precision & customisability  Robotic knee surgery involves the usage of computer-controlled tools to assist in the selection/creation of the prosthesis and the cutting required to fit the prosthesis. The procedure may vary based on the specific system selected by your orthopaedic surgeon, but broadly robotic knee surgery takes place in three stages: Modelling – Your surgeon will make a 3D scan of the knee, allowing them to select a prosthesis that more precisely fits your anatomy. This step is either done preoperatively in conjunction with a CT scan or intraoperatively by direct surface mapping. As part of this step, the range of motion and stability of the joint will be simulated, helping to ensure a better match between patient and prosthesis.  Surgery – During the surgery itself, the surgeon uses the robotic system to assist in cutting into the bone and positioning the implant. Real-time imaging ensures that small – but crucial – revision cuts can be made intraoperatively to ensure the best possible fit. Throughout the process, surgical cuts are compared to the chosen simulation, minimising the risk of surgical error.  Testing – After components have been placed, the robotic system assists the surgeon in checking the range of movement and stability against the simulation, letting the surgeon know immediately if revision is required.  A specialist orthopaedic surgeon with experience in robotic surgery Dr David Slattery is proud to offer patients the ability to work with an orthopaedic surgeon trained in robotic knee replacement. Having successfully performed hundreds of traditional knee replacements, Dr Slattery is excited about the […]

What is an Orthopaedic Surgeon?

Pain in your tendons, joints or muscles can have a significant impact on your day to day life. From stopping you doing the activities you love to making something as simple as driving, shopping or working painful and difficult, long-term pain can stop you being your best. Fortunately, there is help. Many Australians experiencing pain in these areas find value in speaking to an orthopaedic surgeon. These professionals can help you understand the underlying cause of your back, knee or hip pain, helping you overcome it and return to the things you love the most. Dr David Slattery is devoted to helping his patients make more informed choices about their bodies and their health, so his team has prepared this short article explaining what it is an orthopaedic surgeon does, what their area of practice is, and how they can help you. A broad area of treatment Orthopaedic surgeons are one of the most commonly seen medical specialists in Australia, and with good reason. Orthopaedics is concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system – that is, bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissue. With such a broad area of practice, many people will find themselves speaking to an orthopaedic surgeon at some point in their life in relation to a wide variety of conditions from arthritis to carpal tunnel and certain fractures. Patients suffering from sports injuries, certain infections, or tumours may be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, with many specialising in a certain area of the body such as the foot and ankle or the spine, or on a certain demographic through paediatrics or sports medicine. A range of options available Despite the title, orthopaedic surgeons commonly use both surgical and non-surgical (also known as conservative) methods to treat conditions. These conservative treatments can include medication, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, exercise and manipulation of the affected area among others. Orthopaedic surgeons will ideally only pursue surgery as a last resort, striving to help restore your quality of life without the interruption of a stint in hospital. The result – where successful – is a return to a […]

Is Hip Replacement Surgery a Good Idea at Age 45?

Hip replacement is often thought of as a surgery for the elderly. The association of hip replacement with the elderly means that many patients below a certain age likely do not consider themselves candidates for the surgery. That’s an assumption for a number of reasons as we’ll explore in this blog. Broadly, advances in prosthetic technology mean that age is factoring less and less into the decision to embark on hip replacement surgery, with patients of all ages experiencing significant and long-lasting arthritic pain relief after the procedure. If you’re 45 or younger and wondering if you should discuss hip replacement with your doctor or should seek a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon, we want to help you make a more informed choice about your health. Read on and better understand. The biggest factor if you have arthritis, is your degree of disability and pain related to your hip. Hip replacements are performed from teenagers onwards if they have severe symptoms and hip arthritis that is non-responsive to other treatments. Note that this is general advice, and your situation may change depending on your needs as a patient, the nature of your complaint as well as the presence of any complications or comorbidities and other factors including lifestyle and age. Increased implant durability Previously, doctors and surgeons have expressed anxieties about pursuing hip replacement in younger patients. In brief, healthcare professionals were concerned that early surgical intervention would start a sequence of multiple operations, requiring replacement and revision at regular intervals throughout the patient’s life. The hip is one of the hardest-working joints in the body, offering a wide range of movement and responsible for the bearing of a great deal of force. An improperly selected or implanted prosthesis can quickly deteriorate, What can’t I do after a hip replacement surgery? Previously, doctors and surgeons have expressed anxieties about pursuing hip replacement in younger patients. In brief, healthcare professionals were concerned that early surgical intervention would start a sequence of multiple operations, requiring replacement and revision at regular intervals throughout the patient’s life. The hip is one of the hardest-working […]

What is Rehabilitation Like After Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement is one of the most common surgeries performed in Australia, but common does not mean minor. Like all major surgeries, there is a rehabilitation period immediately after hip replacement. This rehabilitation period is designed to ensure that the surgery is as successful as possible at addressing the condition, helping you regain mobility quickly and effectively. In this blog, we’ll go through a few key points to be aware of during the rehabilitation period, helping you better understand your needs in this time. Note that this is general advice, and your situation may change depending on the hip replacement technique chosen by your surgeon, the presence of any complications or comorbidities and other factors including lifestyle and age. Dr Slattery utilises an ERAS – Early Recovery After Surgery Protocol, which is an internationally validated method of speeding up recovery after hip and knee surgery.  This involves specialised techniques in anaesthesia, physiotherapy and rehabilitation to allow early mobilisation and rapid recovery. Early days Advances in hip replacement technology and technique mean that for many patients, hospital stays have been shortened from a week to commonly two or three days. Some patients may be required to stay as many as five depending on the specifics of the procedure. Depending on the technique used by your doctor as well as other factors, you will most likely be able to get out of bed, stand and walk with the aid of crutches on the first day. Soon after your operation and while still in the hospital, you’ll begin a course of physical therapy, building strength around the new joint so that you can develop mobility with your new hip. Rehabilitation at this stage frequently consists of simple exercises such as ankle pumps, leg lifts, and heel slides, but will soon progress to more strenuous exercises designed to strengthen the muscles around the hip. What can’t I do after a hip replacement surgery? Hip replacement surgery is major surgery, and as such during the rehabilitation period there will be things you are advised not to do – or not to do without assistance. Common […]