Orthopaedics Service

Our Orthopaedic Service provides a full range of elective orthopaedic procedures including joint replacement, spine and upper and lower limb surgery.

Based at Musgrave Park Hospital, the Regional Centre for Orthopaedic Surgery in Northern Ireland, our team of Orthopaedic consultants carry out approximately 35,000 outpatient appointments and 9000 inpatient and day case appointments each year, making it one of the largest elective orthopaedic units in the British Isles.

We have 44 consultant orthopaedic surgeons and one speciality doctor working across 9 Operating theatres and 7 Orthopaedic wards. Together they specialise in a range of routine and specialist areas.

We also have a team of over 30 specialist orthopaedic anaesthetists who work in Musgrave Park Hospital to ensure that you are safely able to undergo your Orthopaedic Procedure.

Orthopaedic Conditions

For more information about Orthopaedic Surgery and various orthopaedic conditions, please follow the links below to NHS Choices website:

Musgrave Park Hospital is a contributor to the National Joint Registry and recently was awarded as a quality data provider for 2016/2017.

FInd out more about the National Joint Registry here.


How to access the Service

The elective orthopaedic service is usually accessed via GP referral. If you require to be referred to this service, please make an appointment to talk to your GP.

Depending on your condition, your GP will either refer you to the Integrated Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (ICATs service), or directly to an Orthopaedic consultant surgeon. A number of Orthopaedic conditions do not require surgical management and therefore the patient does not need to be seen by an Orthopaedic Surgeon, but rather the patient can be comprehensively managed in Orthopaedic ICATS services by experienced ICATS’s clinicians.

Seeing an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Your referral letter will initially be registered with the service and your referral triaged to see if you require a routine or urgent appointment. Patient grading is based on clinical condition, signs and symptoms and any available radiological information. The Orthopaedic Triage team will grade your referral as either clinically routine or urgent and you will be added to the outpatient waiting list to see an Orthopaedic Consultant. Following your consultation with the Orthopaedic Surgeon, one or more of the following treatment options may be recommended:

  • Investigations e.g. MRI, US or CT, or
  • Review appointment, or
  • Surgery, or
  • Referral to Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy, or Orthopaedic ICATS
  • Discharge

Anaesthetics for Orthopaedics in Musgrave Park Hospital

A team of over 30 specialist orthopaedic anaesthetics work in Musgrave Park Hospital ensuring that you are able to safely undergo your orthopaedic procedure.

What we do:

  • Preoperative assessment for your surgery
  • Visit you on the ward before your operation
  • Anaesthetise and monitor – looking after you during your operation
  • Oversee your recovery from your anaesthetic and surgery
  • Minimise the risk of, assess and treat any complications.
  • Oversee your postoperative care when you are back on the ward or our Enhanced Recovery Unit.
  • Organise and initiate the treatment of any pain you may have.

Types of Anaesthetic:

  • Spinal Anaesthetic – most hip and knee replacements are carried out this way and you are usually sedated as well.
  • General Anaesthetic – many of our other operations are carried out by putting you to sleep.
  • Nerve Block – operations on the limbs often have a nerve block to ‘freeze up’ the affected area. This can also be your only anaesthetic for operations on the arm and you can be awake. However, it is most often used with a general or spinal anaesthetic to reduce any pain on waking up after surgery.
  • Local Anaesthetic – some minor operations can be carried out by simply freezing the skin with an injection. It can also be used to reduce pain after surgery with a general anaesthetic.


Patient aftercare

Patient aftercare will depend on the type of treatment you have received. It may include follow-up treatment with occupational therapists and physiotherapists at Musgrave Park Hospital or in Orthopaedic ICATS.

Most patients who have undergone surgery will attend follow-up appointments with the surgeon in an outpatient’s clinic in Musgrave Park Hospital or a regional outreach clinic.

How to access the Service - Information for hospital doctors

Any hospital doctor can also access this service, but each case should be discussed with someone with adequate experience. The minimum is registrar level ST3.

Spinal Referrals

Consultants should use the forms below to refer spinal problems to hospitals.
All referral forms must be completed in full and sent to: DL-Spine@belfasttrust.hscni.net  
Each referral will be reviewed and responded to within 24 hours by an Orthopaedic Spinal Consultant.
There are four broad areas of spinal pathology - each has its own referral form:


Location and Contact

The Orthopedics service is located at Musgrave Park Hospital. Maps, visitor information (including bus timetables and train timetables) and further advice for patients can be found in the hospitals section of our website.

Contact Information – Outpatient Waiting List

Hospital Registration Office
Tel: 028 9504 1845

Partial Booking Office
Tel: 028 9063 5440

Contact Information – Inpatient Waiting List:

Joanne Adams - Inpatient Waiting List Manager
Tel: 028 9504 7516

Paula McGeary - Waiting List Officer
Tel: 028 9504 7077

Mairead Gault - Waiting List Officer
Tel: 028 9504 8079

Contact Information – Consultant Secretaries

Download contact details for consultants’ secretaries (PDF)