Preparing for an Appointment

Consulting a hand surgeon

In order to make an appointment with a hand surgeon, you will need a written referral from your GP or other medical specialist. You can obtain this in hard copy from your referring doctor, or ask him or her to fax or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. it directly to the Hand Centre. Your referring doctor will know what to include in the referral. Without this referral, you cannot claim a rebate from Medicare. 

You can ask your GP to refer you to a particular hand surgeon. To be referred to one of our hand surgeons at the Hand Centre, print this document and take it with you when you visit your GP.

When you call the Hand Centre to make your appointment, you will be asked for some basic information, including:

  • Your full name and date of birth
  • Your contact details
  • Your referring doctor
  • The nature of your injury or condition
  • If you are a private, WorkCover or government patient - your insurer name and policy or claim number

You will be asked to fax or email your referral as soon as you can, or to ask your GP to do so. This enables us to ensure that you are seen within an appropriate timeframe.

Ensure you bring with you the results of any tests your GP or other specialist has already ordered, including x-rays, MRI scans or nerve conduction studies. It is important that you bring these reports with you; without them it may be not be possible for your surgeon to diagnose your condition or determine the best treatment for injury.

Tips for preparing for your consultation

Make a note of your symptoms, any other conditions for which you're being treated, any medications (including vitamins and/or supplements) you're taking, and any allergies you may have.

Think about what questions you’d like to ask. For example:

  • What’s causing my symptoms?
  • What treatment options do I have?
  • Is there anything I can do at home to help fix my problem?
  • How long will I have to wait for surgery?
  • How long will it take for my hand to get better?
  • Ensure that you have your original referral letter and the results of any tests that relate to your injury or condition.

When you attend your appointment:

  • Bring your original referral letter and the results of any tests that relate to your injury or condition.
  • You will be asked to fill in a patient information sheet and read and sign our privacy policy.
  • Be ready to answer any questions your hand surgeon asks you. He or she will take a general history, but will also ask specific questions related to your injury or your symptoms. These questions might include:
    • What symptoms do you have? How long have you had them?
    • If you have an injury, how and when did the injury occur? How has it been treated to date?
    • Do your symptoms come and go or are they continuous?
    • Does anything make your symptoms better or worse?
    • Are your symptoms worse in the morning or at any particular time of the day?
    • Do you have any other medical conditions? How are they being treated?

Your consultant will advise you of your diagnosis or potential diagnosis, treatment options and next steps. You may require further tests; if so, you will be told how this will happen. If you require hand therapy, you will be referred to a hand therapist at The Hand Centre or to another therapist of your choosing. If you require surgery, you will be provided with a quotation, a selection of dates for surgery and information on how to proceed. 

Consulting a hand therapist

Consulting a hand therapist is easy. Call the Hand Centre for an appointment, and we’ll make one for you. You do not need a referral to see us if you are a self-funded or privately insured patient. If you are a WorkCover, motor vehicle, DVA, or EPC patient, however, the costs of your therapy will not be paid by your insurer unless you have a referral from a medical practitioner (usually your GP).

When you call to make your appointment, you will be asked for some basic information, including:

  • Your full name and date of birth
  • Your contact details
  • Your referring doctor (if you have one)
  • The nature of your injury or condition
  • If you are a WorkCover, Compulsory Third Party or government patient - your insurer name and claim number

You will also be asked to bring the results of any tests you may have already had, including x-rays and MRI scans.

When you attend your appointment:

  • Bring your referral letter (if you have one) and the results of any tests that relate to your injury or condition
  • Be ready to answer any questions your hand therapists asks you, including:
    • What symptoms do you have? How long have you had them?
    • If you have an injury, how and when did the injury occur? How has it been treated to date?
    • Do your symptoms come and go or are they continuous?
    • Does anything make your symptoms better or worse?
    • Are your symptoms worse in the morning or at any particular time of the day?

Your hand therapist will advise you about treatment options, including the type and duration of the treatment. Often hand therapy requires a course of treatment across a number of weeks or months. Depending on your injury or condition, you may be referred to a hand surgeon. If you have been referred for post-surgical therapy by a hand surgeon, your hand therapist will consult with your surgeon to ensure the best course of treatment.

Suite 4, Level 4, 171 Bigge St, Liverpool NSW 2170