Surgical Wait Times

There are two types of wait lists in Orthopaedics.


List #1

The time between when a referral letter is received and reviewed by a surgeon and when you see a surgeon for the first time.

Once your referral letter is received, it will be reviewed to determine the probability you need surgery and need to see a surgeon.

Please note that even with an abnormal x-ray or MRI, up to half  or more of all patients referred to a surgeon do not require surgery and do not need to see a surgeon

After reviewing your referral letter, if a surgeon believes that you may need surgery you will be given an appointment date to see them.  Please note that an appointment with a surgeon does not mean you need surgery or will be offered surgery.   Only a surgeon can determine if you need surgery, after examining you face-to-face at your initial appointment.

If it’s determined that there’s a low probability that you require surgery,  you may not be offered an appointment because other non-surgical treatments may be helpful and should be explored first.

The wait times to see an individual surgeon for the first time are not collected by provincial health authorities and are not published online. If you contact a surgeon’s office directly, they may be able to tell you about their wait times to see the surgeon for the first time.

List #2

The time between the date you sign the necessary paperwork agreeing to surgery and the day you undergo surgery.

The second wait list is the time that an  individual waits for a surgery after they have met with a surgeon.

The wait time to surgery in the wait lists below starts from the day you sign paperwork agreeing to surgery – it does not include the time you waited to see the surgeon the first time.





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