Surgical Wait Times

There are two categories of wait times in Orthopaedics


Wait List #1: The wait time to see a surgeon for the first time


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 may 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 contacted by the surgeon's office directly and  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 after a surgeon physically examines your joint or condition can they determine if you need surgery.

On the other hand, if a surgeon believes there's a low probability that you require surgery at this time,  you may not be offered an initial 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times to see an individual surgeon for the first time are not collected by all provincial health authorities and may not be published online.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.


Wait List #2: The wait time between the date your surgeon offers surgery and the date you undergo surgery.


This list represents the  time between the date you sign the necessary paperwork agreeing to surgery and the day you actually undergo surgery.

The wait time to surgery in the wait lists below does not include the time you waited to see the surgeon the first time.    Example:  You may wait six months to see a surgeon for the first time and - if offered surgery -  it may be additional three months before you undergo surgery.


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