Patient Journey

Your journey at our practice follows a sequence of care events. Mr Lyons will guide you through this journey with the goal being the best possible outcome for your shoulder condition or injury. Your safety and recovery is his priority

This begins with a consultation and thorough physical examination to establish the nature of your problem. Mr Lyons will then advise whether any special test in addition to those you may already have had are required. He will then be in the best position to advise you of his diagnosis and map out a treatment plan. This might range from reassurance that your condition may simply require monitoring, through to medication, physiotherapy and in some cases a surgical treatment. It is his mission should a surgery be required that you fully understand the procedure and treatment goals. The recovery and rehabilitation process and potential hazards along the way will be explained.

It is his responsibility to present the best information to allow you to make an informed decision about your choice of treatment. Once you have chosen your treatment preference he will guide you through the Patient Journey until such time the best possible outcome is achieved. He stands ready to assist you at any time you experience unexpected issues or anxieties with respect to your recovery. It is a fundamental part of his treatment philosophy that he and his patients work as a team during this journey.

Consultation

Patient Journey - Consultation

The Journey always begins with an initial consultation. Mr Lyons will invite you to describe the shoulder symptoms that you have been experiencing. It will help in assessing your problem by whether the problem has resulted from any injury or for no obvious reason. The duration of the problem, and whether it occurs with certain activities, or at particular times of the day may be relevant. Pain at night time and sleep disturbance can be a common complaint with shoulder problems. Your symptoms may be constant regardless of activity. All of these factors may help him in diagnosing your problem.

You should also give Mr Lyons an idea of treatments you may have tried already such as pain medication, anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy, massage etc. He welcomes hearing about any medical opinions you may have received before seeing him.

Your consultation will include a careful physical examination. This will involve testing various components of you shoulder to narrow down the source of your problem. He may need to check your shoulder mobility, strength, and stability. Some clinical examination techniques are designed to apply some stretch or load to particular muscles or tendons. The examination will be performed in a respectful manner. He will explain the various steps of the examination as appropriate. You will find that Mr Lyons is especially mindful that many shoulder conditions are painful. He will make every effort to minimize any discomfort when testing your shoulder

Diagnostics

Your description of your symptoms and the physical examination findings are often enough to make a firm diagnosis. However Diagnostic Tests (sometimes referred to as Special Investigations) may be required. They may be necessary to further clarify the diagnosis or to establish the extent of your condition. Such tests might include blood tests or radiology tests.

Some patients have had tests or scans prior to referral to Mr Lyons. If so please bring the results of these tests. Although Mr Lyons will find written reports of your tests helpful he also needs to see the actual images that have been taken at the time of your X-rays, scans etc. If you do not have the actual pictures most radiology practices can place the images on a Disc or USB device to bring along to your consultation. They may also be able to give you an Access Code which will allow Mr Lyons to view your tests On-line.

Patients often ask when they book an appointment whether any diagnostic tests should be performed before attending for consultation. If you have not yet had any tests it is usually better to wait until Mr Lyons has assessed your problem. He can then advise what tests would be most helpful in evaluating your condition.

If you require X-rays they can be performed at the time of your first consultation. The Radiology department is in the same consulting suite building. So you will be able to have your X-ray and return to our office. Mr Lyons will be able to discuss the X-ray findings with you straight away thus avoiding the need for an additional consultation. Additional special investigations may need to be scheduled at your convenience and the results reviewed with you at a follow-up consultation.

Tests that Mr Lyons may recommend depending upon your condition may include:

  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • CT Scan
  • MRI Scan

Treatment Options

Once Mr Lyons has analysed your symptom, physical examination findings and test results he will be able to explain the diagnosis he has reached. Then a detailed discussion of your treatment options can be had.

Treatment Options appropriate to your condition may include:

  • No need for any immediate active treatment
  • Monitoring of your condition over a period of time
  • Prescription of medication
  • Resting your shoulder perhaps needing the use of a sling
  • Some shoulder conditions may be suited for a Cortisone Injection
  • Physiotherapy
  • Surgery

He will explain the relative merits of each treatment option. The potential benefits and risks especially if surgery is a consideration will also be discussed. You will have ample opportunity for questions.

You do not need to decide about your treatment choice at the initial consultation.

Mr Lyons encourages you, if in doubt, to consider his advice at your leisure. You may wish to discuss his advice with family. You may choose to attend for a second consultation if you remain undecided as to how to proceed. Mr Lyons is always happy for you to bring a partner or other family member to the consultation if you so choose. He also welcomes you seeking a second opinion from another specialist when considering a surgery. He will send a detailed report concerning his findings to your Family Doctor. They may also be able to guide you.

You may find this site helps to further understand your condition and treatment options:

orthoinfo

Before Surgery

Before Surgery

Our staff will assist you with booking your surgery including:

  • Surgery Date
  • Hospital Location
  • Admission Time
  • Fasting Instructions (When to stop eating or drinking)
  • Cost Estimates
  • Hospital Paper Work
  • What to Bring (Xrays, Scans, Medications etc.)

Mr Lyons may recommend that you temporarily stop some of your medications before surgery such as blood thinning medications.

If you have a background medical condition such as high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory illness, diabetes or a history of blood clots he may arrange for you to have blood tests, a cardiograph (ECG) or chest xray etc. In such cases he will have arranged for a Specialist Physician to advise on your general medical care before and after surgery. Mr Lyons will visit you in the hospital ward before surgery. He understands that this is a stressful time for many patients. You have the opportunity to ask any further questions that may help to relieve your anxiety.

Your Anaesthetist will also meet with you. They will review your general medical condition. The anaesthetic procedure will be explained. The anaesthetist will also discuss strategies for keeping you as comfortable as possible after your surgery. Your experiences Orthopaedic Nurses will also help you in this regard.

After Surgery

Following surgery you will be cared for in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit for approximately one hour. This is an area close to the operating theatre where Specialist Nurses will ensure that you are wide awake, comfortable and stable before your return to the ward. You will have a dressing on your shoulder. You may have sling on your arm after some types of surgery.

Mr Lyons, with your approval, likes to keep your partner, family members or next-of-kin informed once your surgery has been completed. As such he will generally contact them by telephone immediately after surgery to advise that all is well. This will also help them to know when best to visit.

Some surgeries require just an overnight hospital stay. Others might need longer. Mr Lyons will visit you every day to monitor your progress and determine when you are comfortable enough to return home. His Physiotherapist will also see you each day. They will instruct you how to commence a graduated rehabilitation program. The types of surgeries Mr Lyons performs do not usually require supervised physiotherapy when you first leave hospital. He prefers that you get comfortable and confident in the early few weeks after surgery. During that time you will follow a home based rehab program as instructed by the physiotherapist in hospital. Mr Lyons may recommend a more formal physio program should your particular condition require it.

Admission to a Rehabilitation Hospital after shoulder surgery is rarely required. Some of our older patients without family support may consider a respite facility as a stepping stone to home. This can be arranged after your surgery if it becomes clear that you need this additional assistance.

When you leave hospital you will be given clear instructions:

  • A Review Appointment will be made
  • You will be provided with Pain Medication
  • The Physiotherapist will review your rehab program
  • You may be required to wear a Sling
  • You can use your arm for light waist level tasks
  • You will be shown how to care for your Surgery Wound
  • You will be able to Shower
  • Request a Medical Certificate if necessary
  • Your GP will already have been advised of the outcome of your surgery
  • Contact Mr Lyons if you have any concerns after surgery

Review

Patient Journey - Review

Although Mr Lyons is a Shoulder Surgeon his role does not stop there. It is his commitment to review your progress as required after surgery until such time that the best possible outcome is achieved.

Your first post-surgery appointment will usually be scheduled for approximately 2 weeks following your discharge from hospital. Stitches may require removal at that time. You will be given further instructions concerning your rehabilitation. He will guide you concerning your readiness to work or drive. Your Medical Certificate may require renewal etc.

Further appointments will be schedule as appropriate to the nature of your surgery and progress. A judgement will be made as to the need for formal Physiotherapy. If necessary he can recommend a Physiotherapist. If you already have a Physio he will write to that provider with background concerning your surgery and rehabilitation plans.

If you have any unexpected issues on this Patient Journey you should contact our office. Mr Lyons can speak to or return your call. If necessary an earlier review appointment will be scheduled.