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Orthopaedic Problems Top 10

Orthopaedic problems are by far the highest volume specialty for referrals through e-Referrals. Following on from our Top 10 article we now show the clinical classification of the conditions referred.

The top problem referred through NHS e-Referrals to Orthopaedics is for the Knee with 117,039 over the first 3 months of 2015 followed by the Spine with 68,052. How much of these two problems is as a consequence of our modern lifestyles such as high impact running and contact sports or poor posture in office jobs?

Top conditionsCCG’s are struggling to cope with the demand for pain relief and control and many are using Muskulo-Skeletal MSK Triaging through therapists to control demand and avoid surgery in the secondary care sectors. How effective are these services? They may have a short term benefit if they help the patient control and manage their pain but if the problem is posture related then many of the current MSK services will ultimately fail if they do not help the patient resolve the underlying problem.

One clinic type to note is SNOMED Terms which enables very precise clinical terms to be used to find a specialist service and reflect clinical conditions rather than generic labels. An example would be anterior cruciate ligament damage where you would want to see an expert rather than any old orthopaedic surgeon.

A small number of CCG’s commission Chiropractor services and in our next article we will highlight where these services are available through e-Referrals.

NHS Choices has an extensive range of information on knee problems.