Orthopaedics is the branch of medicine that cares for the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system includes your bones and joints and the structures that enable you to move such as ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.

Orthopaedic doctors use both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumours, and congenital disorders.

This information here is for people who are currently waiting for a routine (non-urgent) appointment or surgical procedure under local Orthopaedic services. We have some advice on what you can do to help prepare for your appointment or surgery and what you should do if your health deteriorates while you are waiting.

We have information for people waiting for:

  • Their first outpatient appointment
  • Knee replacement surgery
  • Knee ligament surgery
  • Knee Arthroscopy surgery
  • Hip replacement surgery
  • Shoulder replacement surgery
  • Carpal Tunnel surgery

If you are able to use this waiting time to maximise your physical and mental health, evidence suggests you will be more likely to recover faster from your surgery and require less pain relief. We hope you find the information and advice helpful.

Hospitals Working Together


Hospitals across Greater Manchester (GM) are working together to increase the number of people who can be treated every day.

Orthopaedic hubs have been set up to deliver more operations to help reduce the waiting list backlog. The Orthopaedic hubs are located at Wrightington Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital and Trafford General Hospital.

If you are eligible, you may be contacted and offered the chance to have your surgery sooner at one of the Orthopaedic Hubs.

If you do get offered the opportunity to have your surgery at one of the hubs, we would strongly recommend that you take this up if you can. The hospital team will talk to you to understand your personal circumstances, answer any questions and look at how they may be able to support you to take up the offer.

First Outpatient Appointment

You have been referred to the hospital for an appointment with an Orthopaedic specialist. You may be having an appointment for treatment, diagnosis or a procedure. You may be offered a face-to-face appointment in a hospital clinic, or a telephone or video appointment. Please be assured that you will get the same quality of care no matter what type of appointment you have.

Preparing for your appointment
Managing Pain
Mental Health Support
If your health is deteriorating

What to expect from you pre operative assessment

Before having your surgery you will be invited to have a pre-operative assessment. This appointment could be in person or as a video or telephone call.

During the pre operative assessment the staff will:

  • Make sure you are physically fit enough to have surgery and the anaesthetic
  • Answer any questions you may have
  • Give you more information about your admission to hospital, your surgery and how long you can expect to be in hospital

During the appointment you will be asked questions about your health, medical history and home circumstances. If your appointment takes place in person you may also have some tests carried out, but this will depend on the type of surgery you are having and your medical history.

Before your pre operative appointment it may be helpful for you to write a list of your medical history, any tests or surgery you have had in the past as well as any medicines, vitamins or herbal supplements you take. You can also think about any questions you want to ask.

During your appointment you will be given clear information on:

  • whether you need to stop eating and drinking in the hours before your operation
  • whether you should stop taking your usual medicines before going into hospital
  • what to bring with you into hospital
  • whether you’ll need to stay in hospital overnight and, if so, for how long

Please leave any feedback you have here.

    Did you find what you needed today?

    Tell us what was missing?

    What are you planning to do next with the information you've found?

    How can we make this website better?