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Orthopedic Central Intake - Patient Information


Below are helpful resources, information, and trustworthy websites to help with managing hip and knee osteoarthritis, or low back pain.


To help you better understand orthopedic problems through educational materials, as well as details about what options for treatment may be available from an orthopedic surgeon or muskuloskeletal health provider, click here.



Province-Wide Resources


This patient reference guide from Health Quality Ontario (HQO) helps to outline quality care and expectations for people with osteoarthritis in the knee, hip, or hand. It is recommended as a starting point for conversation with your health care provider.


Below are links to a blog and a news release that provide more information about the provincial initiatives happening for hip and knee osteoarthritis.


Patient Reference Guide: Osteoarthritis

HQO Blog about Rapid Access Clinics and Osteoarthritis


What is an Orthopedic Assessment Clinic?


Five Hip and Knee Orthopedic Assessment Clinics (OACs) have been established in Waterloo-Wellington Region.  In these clinics, a specially trained physiotherapist assesses each person to determine the urgency of referral and if it is a surgical or non-surgical case.  This appointment may then be followed by an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. 


If the referral meets the criteria for the Hip and Knee OAC clinic, Central Intake will direct the referral to the appropriate clinic. To read more about the OACs in our region, click here


The OAC clinic locations for Waterloo Wellington region are:

Kitchener Waterloo:  MSK Centre  

Guelph:   Wellington Ortho and Rehab

Cambridge: Cambridge Memorial Hospital

Mount Forest: Claire Stewart Medical Clinic

Palmerston: Minto Rural Health Centre





Have you been assessed at the OAC and require additional support?


Sometimes assessments at the Hip and Knee OAC Clinics lead to different outcomes. Region-wide resources with helpful information have been developed by the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). Here is one of the resources that you may have been provided after your consultation with the physiotherapist or Advanced Practice Clinician (APC).


Managing Your Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis (OA) Resource

Arthitis Specific Education and Exercise Program Summary


For more information about next steps following an assessment, contact your primary care provider.


Are you needing hip or knee surgery?


Please watch this video from Dr. Mike Evans to learn more about preparing yourself for surgery.



Available surgeons in our region


For more information about the available surgeons who perform surgery for patients with moderate to severe Osteoarthritis who require a replacement for hip & knee surgery in our region:

Cambridge Kitchener Guelph

Dr. James Leone

Dr. Brandon Girardi

Dr. Khalad Al-Shakman

Dr. Glynn Martin

Dr. Rhee

Dr. Steven Hoey 

Dr. Ingrid Whitehead

Dr. Rick Lau

Dr. Kenneth McKenzie 


Dr. Matthew Snider


Dr. Paul Grosso


Dr. Thomas Hupel



For detailed information about all licensed physicians and surgeons please visit The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario


Have you been referred to the "RAC-LB" program (previously ISAEC) for low back pain?



RAC-LB (Rapid Access Clinics - Low Back) are available in Waterloo Wellington.  These were previously called ISAEC (Interdisciplinary Spine and Assessment Clinics), but recently changed their name to align with other rapid access clinics in Ontario.  


If the referral from your primary care provider meets the criteria for RAC-LB, Central Intake will direct the referral to the appropriate clinic.


RAC-LBs are clinics that are being implemented across the province to help improve the quality, access and appropriateness of low back care. A clinic team will assess your low back condition in a timely way and work with you to create a personalized care plan to help you better manage your low back pain.




For more information and resources from the RAC-LB Program, click here.


To listen to a short CBC interview about the RAC-LB Program, click here.


ISAEC Handout: Back Pain with Extension

ISAEC Handout: Back Pain with Flexion

Patient Reference Guide: Low Back Pain



Are you interested in other community programs to support you?


If you have been recommended to try conservative management strategies before surgery, or to delay the onset of surgical intervention, there are several programs available that may be able to help.



GLA:D® Program

The GLA:D® Program is an exercise program for hip and knee osteoarthritis. This program was originally developed in Denmark and is now available at various sites in this region. For more information on this program, click here


Take Charge Chronic Pain Program

This FREE six week program is for people struggling with chronic or persistent pain.  It is led by certified Peer Leaders in a community setting at various locations throughout the region. For more information on upcoming sessions or to register, please click here


Craving Change Program

This FREE four week program helps you understand why you eat the way you do. It is led by health care professionals certified in the program, and is offered at various locations throughout the region. For more information on upcoming sessions or to register, please click here


Exercise and Falls Prevention Programs (Community Support Connections)

Group exercises and falls prevention classes help you stay healthy and active. Often classes are publicly-funded or low-cost and held at various locations across the region. For more information on upcoming sessions or to register, please click here


For more available options at your local YMCA, please click here


Call the Ministry of Seniors Affairs INFOline at 1-888-910-1999 for more information.



Low Impact Exercise Options

For swimming, tai chi, walking groups and other low impact activities visit: City of Cambridge, City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo, New Hamburg and Langs Community Health Centre



Private Clinic Offerings

These programs offer a variety of services including assessment, treatment by a multi-disciplinary team, including a Sports Medicine Physician with special interest in OA treatment and therapeutic pools. Some examples include Grand River Sports Medicine, Tri City Physiotherapy and Waterloo Sports Medicine.




Please note: You should see your primary care provider for more information and note that the information found on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction.