Cairns Orthopaedic Clinic


Surgery Info

Pre-Op Checklist

Complete forms and deliver to the support facility where your procedure is to take place at least one week prior to operation date. (Supplied by our Nurse at the time of making the booking)

Complete the appropriate forms (supplied by our nurse at the time of making the booking). Contact the pre-admission clinic within the Cairns Private Hospital. Attendance at the pre-admission clinic is frequently required pre-operatively.

We recommend you contact your GP to discuss any medication you are on. You may need to cease taking some medication for a period prior to surgery. The Cairns Day Surgery will contact you for admission times at their facility.

Contact our office on 4040 6262 BETWEEN 2PM & 4PM on the business day prior to your Cairns Private Hospital procedure to confirm your admission and fasting times

Note fasting is NIL BY MOUTH - 5 to 6 hours prior to your admission time.

Please bring any recent x-rays/films to the procedure date

Back to top

Accommodation Close to Hospital

Discovery Resort
183 Lake Street • Phone: 4044 9777

Heritage Hotel
8 Minnie Street • Phone: 4051 1211

Bellview Flats
191 Lake Street • Phone: 4051 2564

Red Cross House
Behind CBH Lake Street • Phone: 4051 2168

Poinsettia Motel
169 Lake Street • Phone: 4051 2144

Villa Shangri-La
288 Sheridan Street • Phone: 4052 1333

Rydges Esplanade [4.5 Star]
The Esplanade • Phone: 4044 9000

Rydges Tradewinds [4 Star]
137 The Esplanade • Phone: 4053 0300

Back to top

Deep Breathing & Leg Exercises

While you are in hospital and recuperating, your level of activity is usually far less than normal. It is more likely that you will have medication for pain that may affect your mental alertness. Many procedures or operations may affect your level of activity and ability to mobilize.

We suggest the following exercises to help prevent the risks of complications of leg and lung clots that can occur under these circumstances.

Leg exercises: The aim is to stimulate improved circulation in your legs by exercising major muscle groups in your legs.

Deep breathing exercises: The aim is to clear air passages and to prevent chest infections.

Some simple “Do's” and “Don't” for your recovery:

  • DON'T cross your legs while lying down or sitting in a chair. Crossing your legs slows the return of blood from your legs to your heart and this can lead to formation of clots in your legs. A clot in your leg is considered a serious complication and can slow your recovery.
  • DO carry out the exercises described below.
  • PLEASE REPORT if you develop ANY calf or leg pain, hardness or heat or redness or swelling in the back of your leg.
  • PLEASE REPORT if you have difficulty being able to take a deep breathe or find this uncomfortable, or have pain in your chest.

Deep Breathing Exercises

  • Breathe in through your mouth using your chest muscles to draw air into your lungs as deeply as possible.
  • Breathe out through your mouth pushing the air out as if attempting to blow up a balloon.
  • These exercises should be done in groups of 6 breaths every hour while you are awake.

Leg Exercises

  • While lying down, point your toes down until you feel the muscles in the back of your calf tighten, then relax.
  • Following this, press the back of your knee down by pulling your toes back towards your shins to tighten the muscles on the top of your leg, then relax.
  • Raise you heel up a little and rotate it first in one direction then the other, then relax.
  • Repeat these exercises 10 times every hour while awake.

Please continue these exercises until you are fully recovered and mobile.

If elevating your leg, be sure it is from ankle to groin with nothing “pressing in” to the back of your leg thus possibly reducing blood flow from foot to body.

Back to top

Blood Clot Prevention

If you experience any of the following while you are in hospital, call a nurse immediately:

  • pain or swelling in your legs
  • pain in your lungs or chest
  • difficulty breathing.

If you have any of these signs after you have left hospital, telephone your doctor immediately or go straight to the Emergency Department of any hospital.

Download the blood clot info sheet

Back to top

Post Surgery

Pain Relief

As certain surgeries can involve some post-operative pain, pain relief is recommended. Pain relief medications such as 'Endone' and those containing 'Codeine' such as 'Panadeine Forte' may cause constipation. Increased water consumption is advised during this time. Pear juice is another alternate. If constipation persists, please contact your local GP.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein. It commonly affects the leg veins such as the femoral vein or the popliteal vein. DVT's commonly occur due to immobilisation of a limb (i.e. post-surgery). TED stockings help prevent the formations of DVT's and are usually worn until the person is mobilising. Your doctor may prescribe aspirin or an alternate anticoagulant if a history of blood clot formation exists.


A wound may result from surgery. It is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of an infected wound so appropriate treatment can be commenced. These include; pain, redness (around wound), purulent and offensive discharge, swelling and heat, night sweats and having flu-like symptoms. If any of these symptoms are present, contact Cairns Orthopaedic Clinic immediately on 4040 6262, or contact your GP if out of hours.


Dressings should be left intact until your post-operative appointment. For arthroscopies, bandages can be taken down the day after surgery. The dry dressing is left intact for approx. 5 days. Dressings used for most surgeries are splash proof but not waterproof. Always follow the direction of the specialist or health professional given at the time of discharge.

Post-Operative Appointments

Post-op appointments are usually made within 10 days of your operation.
If an appointment has not been made, please contact Cairns Orthopaedic Clinic on 4040 6262 to make an appointment. Stitches and/or staples will be removed at this appointment.

Back to top

DISCLAIMER: To report any problems with this website, please contact Cairns Orthopaedic Clinic (COC) Administration at or phone: 07 4040 6240. By accessing, using or downloading material from this website you agree to follow and be bound by these Terms of Use, which constitute a legal contract. If you do not agree with them, please do not use this website. These Terms of Use may change without notice, so do check them from time to time. Read our full disclaimer.