Western Australian Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society

FAQ

Q1
What is orthopaedic surgery?

Orthopaedic surgery or orthopaedics is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. Orthopaedic surgeons use both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal deformities and trauma, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumours, and congenital disorders.

Q2
What is an Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon?

All orthopaedic surgeons are trained in the management of foot and ankle conditions. Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons have a special interest and advanced training in foot and ankle disorders. They treat conditions from ingrown toenails and bunions to complex hind-foot fusions and ankle replacements.

Q3
Is my surgeon a medical practioner?

They may not be. Medical practitioners are registered by the Medical Board of Australia under AHPRA. Their qualifications can be checked here. All orthopaedic surgeons, including our members, are medical doctors. 

Q4
Are implants (screws, plates, joint replacements) required for my surgery covered by my private health insurer?

Provided that your surgeon is a qualified medical practitioner (check here) most will be. In rare circumstances for unusual surgery they may not be but your surgeon should discuss this with you prior to the procedure.

Q5
Will my treatment be covered by Medicare?

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident and your surgeon is a qualified medical practitioner (check here), you will be able to claim Medicare benefits for your treatment.

Q6
What if I don't have private health insurance?

Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons are committed to equal access to healthcare for all patients. Most of our members consult and operate in both public and private hospitals. All of Perth's tertiary public teaching hospitals have specialist orthopaedic surgeons managing foot and ankle conditions from ingrown toenails to major trauma.

Q7
Can my foot and ankle surgeon prescribe medication?

Yes. Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons have a medical degree and have comprehensive knowledge of medical conditions associated with foot and ankle conditions as well as of perioperative problems requiring medication.

Q8
Can my Orthopaedic Surgeon prescribe orthotics?

Yes. Orthopaedic surgeons frequently manage foot and ankle conditions non-operatively and work closely with allied health practitioners (orthotists, podiatrists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists) for provision of orthoses and treatment. They work as leaders of multi-disciplinary teams to achieve the best outcomes.

Q9
Is my surgery covered by my private health insurer?

All WAOFAS members are covered by all private health insurers. Depending on which health insurance provider you use additional fees may incurred. A quote should be sought prior to the operation.

Q10
Is my Anaesthetist fee covered by my private health insurer?

Any anaesthetist working with a certified WAOFAS member is eligible to access a Medicare rebate. Additional fees may be incurred. A quote should be sought prior to the operation.