How do I make an Appointment?
Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
To attract a medicare benefit for seeing a specialist you are required to have an up to date referral from another doctor. Non-rebatable visits such as Workcover appointments, 3rd party appointments and appointments for Independent Medical Examinations do not need a referral. It is advisable to have a referral for all other visits as Medicare will not re-imburse you “Specialist” benefits for consultations and treatment performed without a referral.
What to bring for your initial consultation?
For your initial consultation, you should bring a referral letter from your local doctor or another medical specialist (referrals forma specialist only last 3 months, your local doctor’s referral is valid for 12 months).
Here is check list for your initial consultation
- Referral letter from GP, family physician or another doctor
- Medicare card, DVA card, pension card
- Have your Private Hospital Insurance information with you
- Both the images, or a disc with your images, as well as reports, for all X-rays, MRI's, CT scans etc. and any other investigation that your other doctors have previously ordered for you.
We encourage you to come to your initial consultation with a written list of questions to ensure you don’t forget to ask them when you are seeing Dr Hocking.
Are my medical records kept private and confidential?
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff is bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment regarding your medical records. We will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent.
How long do I need time off work after the surgery?
The post-operative recovery period varies depending on the surgery that is being performed and the type of work you do. Generally, it is recommended patients take two weeks off work to recover from any surgery and to resume light duties following resumption of work. Dr Hocking will give you specific instructions to follow for a successful recovery. Major surgery like hip and knee replacement may need you to take 6 weeks off work. If you work as a labourer, you may need to take 3 months of full duties.
How long before I can resume driving?
You should wait at least one week before driving after surgery. The effects of anaesthetic and surgery can affect judgment and reflexes during the first week following your surgery. Your surgeon will provide more specifics for your situation. Major fractures and joint replacements are legislated to require 6 weeks off driving. After 6 weeks, you may resume driving when you can operate the motor vehicle as well as you could operate the motor vehicle before the operation.
When can I resume exercise?
Your doctor will instruct you about post-treatment exercises – the type and the duration to be followed. You will be referred to a physiotherapist to help with strengthening and range of motion exercises following surgery.
How do I contact after hours?
Dr Hocking can be contacted through the Bundaberg Base Hospital switch board on 07 4150 2222.
What are the non-surgical treatment options?
The non-surgical treatment options include rest, medications including analgesics and antibiotics, injections, splints and physical/occupational therapy. Dr Hocking will discuss these options with you as part of your treatment plan.
Will physical therapy be required after surgery?
Getting full range of motion, strength, and flexibility back after surgery usually takes time. That is where pre-operative exercise, education, and post-operative physiotherapy programs come in – to ensure you are physically and emotionally prepared for surgery and to maximize your recovery after surgery.
What are the risks associated with surgery?
As with any surgery, general risks include reactions to anaesthesia, bleeding, infection, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, stiffness, nerve or blood vessel damage and persistent pain. Dr Hocking will discuss specific risks associated with the recommended procedure at the time of your appointment.
When can I return to daily activities?
This varies depending on the type of procedure undergone, and can range from a few days to a few months. Return to all activities, sports and exercise can take up to four to six months. Your doctor will advise you depending on your health condition.
What can happen if surgery is avoided?
Some complications of not undergoing an operation for your condition include worsening pain, loss of joint motion, weakness, numbness and an early onset of arthritis.
What are the most common injuries?
The most common orthopaedic injuries are sprains and strains, fractures, and dislocations. Injuries can occur when playing indoor or outdoor sports or while exercising. Sports injuries can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, or insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises.