Foot and ankle outpatient services at Central Adelaide

The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Foot and Ankle outpatient clinics (part of the RAH Orthopaedic Unit) provide assessment and treatment services for patients living in the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) area who suffer from adult degenerative foot and ankle disorders and lower limb fractures.
Services are also provided to patients referred from rural and remote areas.

Contact details

Fax (for referrals): (08) 7074 6247
Appointment enquiries and new case appointments: (08) 1300 153 853
Review or change of appointments: (08) 1300 153 853

Appointment location

Orthopaedic unit - foot and ankle outpatients

Outpatient Department, Level 3
Royal Adelaide Hospital
Port Road, Adelaide SA 5000
Telephone: (08) 1300 153 853
Fax: (08) 7074 6247

Clinics and services available

  • Foot and ankle disorders
  • assessment and treatment
  • inpatient admission.

Outpatient clinics

Patients are generally seen by a consultant medical officer, either directly or in an overseeing role following inputs from a registrar and/or a specialist nurse or allied health professional depending on the reason for referral and the patient’s ongoing care needs.

Day Clinic (all at RAH) Conditions seen
Monthly Monday am Foot and ankle Foot and ankle complaints/injury clinic
Monthly Monday pm Foot and ankle Foot and ankle complaints/injury clinic
Monthly Wednesday pm Foot and ankle Foot and ankle complaints/injury clinic

Referral process

Immediate referral process

Where consultation is 'same day' urgent, the orthopaedic registrar or the on call orthopaedic registrar if after hours, should be contacted via the RAH switchboard (08) 7074 0000 to discuss the patient. A written referral marked URGENT should then be faxed to (08) 7074 6247 or sent with the patient if urgent assessment arranged. If the condition is life-threatening, the patient should be sent to the nearest emergency department.

Less urgent referrals

Preferred method of referral is by fax or letter.
Fax number: (08) 7074 6247.
All referrals including those urgently requiring consultation must be in writing. Please fax written referral to (08) 7074 6247.

Non-urgent referrals will be allocated to the next available appointment. Non-urgent referrals will incur a wait. The waiting time for appointment will vary and be dependent on the demand for this service and the medical urgency of the patient’s condition.

Foot and Ankle problems not considered high priority (see eligibility and referral criteria) may wait a longer time for an appointment. Please consider other options and do not refer to multiple providers regarding the same presenting complaint.

Should changes occur to a patient’s medical condition during the waiting time for an appointment, referrers should send updated clinical information and where appropriate, contact the orthopaedic registrar via the RAH switchboard (08) 7074 0000.

Clinical features indicative of potentially serious pathology – foot and ankle

Clinical features
Swelling, erythema, marked reduction in range of motion of a joint (septic arthritis)
Acute deformity following recent trauma

Referrals unlikely to be offered an appointment

Foot and ankle clinics do not provide second opinions for patients already under the care of other orthopaedic surgeons. Transfer of care from another specialist may be accepted.

Referrals from other outpatient clinics in the RAH may not be accepted unless specific foot and ankle input is required for the condition for which the patient is already attending a hospital outpatient clinic.

Consultants and registrars of other clinics should consider whether incidental non-threatening musculoskeletal problems could be managed by a patient’s general practitioner and whether the problem merits specialist input in competition for access to scarce specialist resources.

For further information on eligibility and referral processes see the outpatient referral process page.

Alternate care options/health information for low priority conditions while waiting for an appointment or if no appointment is made

Not all patients with foot and ankle conditions can be offered appointments in CALHN clinics.

In most cases, the key to appropriate management is a detailed history and examination. Options for obtaining further information regarding various foot and ankle conditions and to provide guidance for assessment, investigations and management are listed under foot and ankle clinical information sheets below.

Post outpatient department discharge guidelines and information

If the patient or their general practitioner is concerned about a deterioration in the medical condition (see clinical information sheets below and table of clinical features indicative of potentially serious pathology above) and a foot and ankle assessment is required earlier than planned, a phone call to the orthopaedic registrar on call through the switch board on (08) 7074 0000 will allow this to be discussed.

Patients whose medical condition has stabilised or resolved and for whom no further appointment has been made will be formally discharged. If a foot and ankle assessment is required again, a new referral, preferably a named referral should be faxed to the orthopaedic unit on (08) 7074 6247.

Foot and ankle clinical information sheets

The following information sheets about presentations commonly seen in foot and ankle clinics provide the minimum information required for assessing a referral under the headings of eligibility, priority, differential diagnosis, clinical information and investigations required, pre-referral management strategies and discharge criteria.

There are also two general information sheets that have been developed to provide further information for patients.

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