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Home > Our services & hospitals > Orthopaedics

Orthopaedics

About us

The orthopaedic department provides services for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the skeletal system i.e. bones and tendons. Orthopaedic clinics are held at North Devon District Hospital and Bideford, Ilfracombe (Tyrell) and Stratton Community Hospitals. There is also a special fracture clinic held at North Devon District Hospital.

How do I access this service?

You will be referred by a healthcare professional e.g. GP or Accident and Emergency Doctor, to a clinic. Each of our consultants has specialties in particular areas of orthopaedic medicine and you will be seen by the most appropriate consultant. If you have attended Accident and Emergency for a broken bone you will be asked to attend the fracture clinic where your X-rays will be reviewed and any additional treatment discussed with you.

What treatments are offered?

Our team of consultants have a wide range of special interests including:

  • Arthroscopic surgery
  • Sports injuries
  • Shoulder and elbow surgery
  • Foot and ankle surgery
  • Hand and wrist surgery
  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Limb reconstruction

The possible treatment option will be discussed with you when you are seen in a clinic so that you can make an informed choice. Some examples of the types of treatment are briefly described below.

Bunionectomy

A bunion is a bony lump on the inside of the forefront which can develop when the big toe drifts towards the other toes. A bunion can cause pain and discomfort because of pressure from shoes. Additionally, longstanding bunions can cause the joint to become arthritic. A bunionectomy is performed to remove the bony lump and straighten the big toe.

Carpal tunnel decompression

The carpal tunnel is a space located at the base of the hand formed by the shape of the bones in the wrist and covered by a firm band called the flexor retinaculum. The tendons and nerves which run to the fingers pass through this tunnel. Carpal tunnel decompression is required when pressure is applied to the nerves and tendons running through the tunnel, causing discomfort and pain. In this operation the flexor retinaculum is surgically divided releasing the pressure from the nerves and tendons.

Total hip and knee replacements

Total hip and knee replacements are offered to relieve arthritis of the hip and knee joints. Despite the relatively frequent numbers of hip and knee replacement operations performed, it is still a major surgical procedure. In both procedures either the entire joint or part of the joint is replaced with an artificial joint.

Where can I find more information?

More detailed information on conditions and treatments can be found in patient information leaflets here.

Additionally, NHS choices has information on a wide variety of conditions and treatments.