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Southern DHB Orthopaedics - Otago

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    The Orthopaedic Service provides specialist acute and elective surgery for musculoskeletal problems. The acute work from within the Otago area covers recreation related trauma, road accidents, bone and joint infections and fractures associated with osteoporosis and the aging population. Within the elective workload the service provides a full range of hip, knee, foot and ankle and shoulder surgery, paediatric, spinal, hand and arthroscopic surgery.

    Scoliosis surgery is undertaken at Dunedin Hospital as a tertiary service with patients coming from all the DHBs within the South Island.
    Inpatient Area - Ward 3B (Acute Orthopaedics) and Ward 3C (Elective Orthopaedics) 3rd floor, Main Hospital
    Outpatient Clinic - 3rd floor, Main Hospital
    Pre-admission Clinic - 3rd floor, Main Hospital
    Fracture Clinic - Ground Floor, Main Hospital (Cumberland St entrance)


    • Mr Alan Carstens

      Mr Alan Carstens

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Mr Bruce Hodgson

      Mr Bruce Hodgson

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Dr Carl Chisholm

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Mr Chris Birks

      Mr Chris Birks

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Professor David Gwynne-Jones

      Professor David Gwynne-Jones

      Associate Professor Orthopaedic Surgeon - Clinical Director
    • Mr Gary McCoubrey

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Mr John Dunbar

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Mr John Scanelli

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Mr Michael Chin

      Mr Michael Chin

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Mr Simon McMahon

      Mr Simon McMahon

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Mr Wesley Bevan

      Mr Wesley Bevan

      Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • Dr Louis LeBlond

      Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Fracture Clinics

    These clinics are run by most orthopaedic departments for patients that have sustained an injury that has already been treated and further follow-up of that injury is required, to monitor progress of a healing bone, check the position of the bone in a cast and to decide when other steps in management such as re-manipulation of fracture, removal of a cast or change of the management plan is required. Often at these fracture clinics x-rays are taken on arrival. Although an appointment time is given, the time to have x-rays, casts removed, other treatments instigated may take several hours. Other appointments will be quick and efficient if these other procedures are not needed.

    General Outpatient Clinics

    These are clinics for patients that have been referred by their doctor for an orthopaedic opinion on a specific concern. These clinics are usually attended by a specialist orthopaedic surgeon who will be available to advise on diagnosis and management. Often at the clinics x-rays will be taken, if not already taken and sometime other investigations such as ultrasound scans may be taken.

    Specialty Clinics

    Clinics for specific parts of the body or specific conditions. Examples of these will be an orthopaedic tumour clinic or a spinal clinic. Here the patients with specific problems are seen by the appropriate doctors and support staff for their special needs.

    Joint Replacement

    For elderly patients joint replacement surgery is commonly required to treat damaged joints from wearing out, arthritis or other forms of joint disease including rheumatoid arthritis. In these procedures the damaged joint surface is removed and replaced with artificial surfaces normally made from metal (chromium cobalt alloy, titanium), plastic (high density polyethelene) or ceramic which act as alternate bearing surfaces for the damaged joint.These operations are major procedures which require the patient to be in hospital for several days and followed by a significant period of rehabilitation. The hospital has several ways of approaching the procedure for replacement and the specifics for the procedure will be covered at the time of assessment and booking of surgery. Occasionally blood transfusions are required; if you have some concerns raise this with your surgeon during consultation.


    The division of a crooked or bent bone to improve alignment of the limb. These procedures normally involve some form of internal fixation, such as rods or plates, or external fixation which involves external wires and pins to hold the bone. The type of procedure for fixation will be explained when the surgery is planned.

    Arthroscopy (keyhole surgery)

    Over the last 30 years a large number of orthopaedic procedures on joints have been performed using an arthroscope, where a fiber optic telescope is used to look inside the joint. Through this type of keyhole surgery, fine instruments can be introduced through small incisions (portals) to allow surgery to be performed without the need for large cuts. This allows many procedures to be performed as a day stay and allows quicker return to normal function of the joint.Arthroscopic surgery is less painful than open surgery and decreases the risk of healing problems.  Arthroscopy  allows access to parts of the joints which can not be accessed by other types of surgery.

    Soft tissue (muscles, tendons and ligaments)

    In many cases tendons will be lengthened to improve the muscle balance around a joint or tendons will be transferred to give overall better joint function. This occurs in children with neuromuscular conditions but also applies to a number of other conditions. Most of these procedures involve some sort of splintage after the surgery followed by a period of rehabilitation, normally supervised by a physiotherapist.