The decision to undergo surgery is a major step in treating and recovering your mobility and independence. If you are considering an operation such as a hip or knee replacement, you are probably curious to know everything that it entails. Here is an overview of the patient journey at the Duval Orthopaedic Clinic located in Laval, Quebec. Because we treat a lot of patients who are located further away in Quebec and the rest of Canada, we have also included a few details for them.

Step 1: The Consultation
The first step in any medical process is the consultation. At Duval Orthopaedic Clinic, you can have an appointment with one of our orthopaedic surgeons within one to two weeks. No need for a prescription or requisition to meet him. If you have an X-ray or an MRI of the affected area that is less than six months old, do not forget to bring it. This will greatly help the doctor to establish his diagnosis.

Once at the clinic, you will be greeted by our receptionist who will direct you to the office of the Administrative Assistant to open your file (or update it if you have already come to the clinic).

The orthopaedic surgeon will then meet you to discuss your case. Take advantage of this moment to ask your questions, share your concerns, and evaluate your options.

After your consultation, you will return to the Administrative Assistant to pay for the consultation, receive information about the cost of the surgery and plan the preoperative appointments (if you decide to have the procedure).

For people living further away
Since the on-site consultation is not possible, the person will have to send us, by mail, all the documents necessary for the assessment of their file. This information will allow the doctors (orthopaedic surgeon and general practitioner) to assess the affected area and the overall health status of the person. This analysis will then determine if they are a good candidate for the type of surgery requested. For more information on the documents required for the file review, please contact us at 450-663-3901, ext. 100.

* Please note that we do not handle cases referred by the CNESST unless the employer pays the costs.

Step 2: The preoperative appointments
Have you decided to proceed with the surgery? Before undergoing an operation, it is important to assess your overall health. Preoperative appointments are therefore necessary, one with the general practitioner, the other with the physiotherapist. The duration of the various exams is about half a day. If you are considering hip surgery, an X-ray of the limb to be operated may be required (depending on the type of procedure). This exam will be done in a clinic nearby.

Dr. Pauline Lavoie, General Manager and General Practitioner, will meet with you to ask you questions about your condition and will do a physical. She will check the medications you are taking (do not forget to bring a list of your medications, vitamins, and natural products). She will then take a sample of your blood to have a blood profile of your overall condition and then perform an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check the health of your heart.

The Duval Orthopaedic Clinic is fortunate to have a team of physiotherapists within the building. This aim of this appointment is to determine a treatment plan during your stay at the clinic and to explain it to you. Measurements will also be taken to have a comparison (i.e. to evaluate the extension of the leg before / after the operation). Following your surgery, the ultimate goal of this team’s work is to make you independent at the end of your stay.

For people living further away
If your file has received the approval of the general practitioner and the orthopaedic surgeon, our Administrative Assistant will contact you to plan the date of the surgery, the preoperative meetings and the appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. These will take place the day before surgery. You will need to book a room in one of the many hotels located less than 7 km from the clinic.

Step 3: Surgery Day
You will check in to the Clinic the day before or the morning of your surgery (depending on the type of surgery). We will contact you a few days before to confirm your arrival time. You will stay at our clinic for four nights.

The morning of the surgery, we will prepare you for the surgery. You will then be transported to the operating room where you will meet the anesthetist. Once the operation is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room where nurses will regularly check your vital signs, solute, bandage, and progress following surgery. You will stay in the recovery room until you are ready to return to your room.

Step 4: Your Stay at the Clinic
The day after your operation, your surgeon or Dr. Nicolas Duval will come to see you to answer any questions concerning the surgery and your rehabilitation. Another doctor from our team will also be assigned to the case to ensure that your condition is stable, check the wound, bandages, and vital signs. They will conduct their rounds every day of your stay.

You will get up for the first time the day of your surgery during your first physiotherapy session (if your condition allows). You will have up to two sessions a day during your stay. The number of exercises will gradually increase each day. Patients can usually walk on crutches, cane, or walker in less than two days. We will lend you the necessary equipment during your stay at the Clinic. We will take care of sending the prescription for the loan of equipment and home care to the CLSC (Quebec residents) of your neighborhood before your return home.

Physiotherapy will allow you to recover your range of motion and resume walking. This is an important part of your rehabilitation process. It is in your best interest to follow your physiotherapist’s recommendations carefully and to continue your exercises when you are at home.

Step 5: Returning Home
Don’t worry! You will be able to walk with a cane or a walker. Do not forget to have one ready for your departure. The return home will be a step by step process. You will take anticoagulants for about 30 days to prevent the risk of phlebitis. It is strongly recommended to continue your exercises and physiotherapy following your recovery with us. In regards to your return to work, this will be discussed with your surgeon.

For people living further away
It is quite possible to travel by plane or car after your recovery period at the clinic. You will have to be mindful of stretching your legs every 45 minutes. It is possible to book a wheelchair at the airport. Check with your airline for their procedure.

Step 6: Postoperative Appointment
The postoperative follow-up meeting will take place four to six weeks after surgery. The orthopaedic surgeon will check the wound, ask about your level of discomfort and your progress with the physiotherapy exercises. The postoperative meeting is designed to ensure that your recovery is going as planned and to ensure your satisfaction with the results of the surgery. You should also take advantage of this moment to share your concerns or to ask questions about the healing process.

For people living further away
Do you live too far to return to the Duval Orthopaedic Clinic for your postoperative meeting? No problem, just send us a CD with new x-rays taken four to six weeks after your surgery. The orthopaedic surgeon will contact you by phone or email, at your convenience, to follow up.

You should now have a much better idea of ​​the patient journey at the Duval Orthopaedic Clinic. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions at 450 663-3901.

For more information about our clinic and services, visit our website.