Assessment for Surgery

An assessment appointment will help your physician determine the extent of your arthritis. If necessary, your physician will request an appointment with the next available surgeon to discuss options for surgery (you may also request a specific surgeon).

Assessment Appointment for your Joint

Your physician has sent a referral to the Edmonton Bone and Joint Centre to have your hip or knee assessed. The purpose of this assessment appointment is for the assessment team (physical therapist and assessment physician) to determine the nature of your hip or knee problem and the best plan for management.

If the assessment team determines that you are a candidate for joint replacement surgery, you will be referred to the next available surgeon for a consult appointment (if you have a specific surgeon in mind you may also request to be referred to them). There is a waitlist to see a surgeon and wait times may vary.

Preparing for your Appointment

First, if you have not had X-rays of your joint in the past 6 months, please use the requisition sent along with your appointment letter to have new ones done. The requisition sent to you can be used at ANY X-ray clinic in Alberta.

Make sure that all the information you need is ready and available.

  • During your appointment, a physical therapist will be taking a history related to your hip or knee problem in addition to a medical history. This means they will be asking you about any medical conditions and surgeries you have had. Please have a complete list of the names of the medications you are currently taking.
  • We will also be asking you about the treatments you have had for your hip or knee problem. This includes injections, procedures and physical therapy. If you have had or are going for physical therapy, we will be asking you where you went for treatment, how long, and what exercises you were given as part of your treatment.

If you have questions about your assessment appointment, please contact our booking clerk at (780) 432 – 5627.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some assessment physicians are doing telephone appointments. To prepare for your virtual appointment, please consult our ‘Guide to Virtual Appointments

What you need to bring to your appointment

• A list of medications you are currently taking.

• A list of the treatments you currently use/have previously used for this joint issue (e.g. injections, bracing, physical therapy, medications, etc.).

• If you have done physical therapy, please have the name of the clinic you went to and for how long, as well as any exercises you were prescribed.

What to Expect from Your Appointment

During your appointment, your history will be taken and the physical therapist will assess your hip or knee. Using this information, as well as your X-rays, the assessment surgeon will decide on a management plan and discuss this with you. A letter explaining this management plan will be sent to your referring doctor or physical therapist.

Your management plan may be surgical or non-surgical. You can find more information on those pathways below.

Non-Surgical Treatments

If your arthritis is not severe enough for surgery, it may be treated with non-surgical options such as physical therapy, medication, or cortisone injections.

Surgical Treatments

The Edmonton Bone and Joint Centre uses the Next Available Surgeon model. This ensures that you can be matched with the surgeon who is best suited to your needs and who has the shortest wait time. An appointment with the surgeon will be booked into the earliest available opening. You will be asked to complete a medical history to bring to that appointment.


As wait times vary, requests for a specific surgeon may impact how long it takes to be seen.