Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

April 25, 2007 09:00 ET

Comfort and confidence for bone and joint patients

Through peer program from Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

Attention: City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor TORONTO/ONTARIO/NEWS RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - April 25, 2007) - A new telephone-based, peer-support program offered by the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation, called Ortho Connect, is intended to provide comfort and relieve some of the anxiety of orthopaedic surgery patients.

"Patients have repeatedly told us that they wish they had someone to talk to," says Angelique Berg, executive director, Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation. "Orthopaedic surgery is often major surgery and patients are naturally a little apprehensive. Ortho Connect aims to increase a patient's knowledge about and confidence in the treatment they will receive. It's a patient focused program that plays a positive role in a person's preparation for surgery, enabling them to be an active participant in their health care."

Demand for orthopaedic treatment is at an all-time high and continues to rise. And, while governments are tackling the wait times issue, there are still thousands of Canadians living with pain and restricted mobility as they wait for the surgery that will help them resume their everyday lives.

"Patients have many, many questions about their upcoming joint replacement," says Dr. Maurice Bent, orthopaedic surgeon at North York General Hospital in Toronto. "Most patients want to know what to expect following surgery. While I can assure them that they will not have any pain following their recovery from surgery, I believe that hearing it from someone who has had the same surgery is more meaningful."

"Ortho Connect offers me a place to refer patients who have a lot of non-medical questions," says Dr. Peter Southcott, orthopaedic surgeon at Bluewater Health in Sarnia. "Patients will ask about assistance at home or how to prepare their home for their return. While I can help to answer these questions, having a program like Ortho Connect to refer them to means I don't have to have all the answers."

Client feedback about the program has been positive with clients indicating that their volunteer was very helpful, understanding, and a good listener. "The support received helped me to go into the operation with my eyes open," said one client.

"Prior to my surgery I had a lot of questions," says Anne Elliott, an Ortho Connect volunteer from Hamilton. "It would have been nice to have someone to talk to regarding the operation and what to expect … to help ease my mind. Sharing and working together to come up with solutions to issues you run across are important aspects of getting through the wait time prior to surgery and rehabilitation following surgery."

Founded in 1965, the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation is Canada's only charity dedicated solely to helping people maintain and restore their mobility. Through its professional staff and network of over 500 volunteers, the Foundation raises funds to achieve excellence in bone and joint or orthopaedic health, mobility and function for all Canadians. By encouraging lifelong bone and joint health, we strive to keep Canadians living and moving independently.


Note to Editor: Volunteers are available for interviews.
/For further information: Debbie Gates
Communications & Education Manager
416-410-2341 or 1-800-461-3639 ext. 3
Cell phone: 416-577-3251
Fax: 416-352-5078
Website: or


Contact Information

  • Debbie Gates, Communications & Education Manager, Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
    Primary Phone: 416-410-2341 ext. 3
    Secondary Phone: 905-799-2719
    Toll-Free: 800-461-3639