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Musculoskeletal Services

MSU OPD Freeman Hospital

Contact: (0191) 223 1109 (appointments) - Sister Sophie Blakey

The Musculo Skeletal Outpatient Department is a very busy unit seeing over 40,000 patients every year. The department provides a comprehensive outpatient service that combines all aspects of elective (planned) orthopaedic surgery, rheumatology and metabolic bone disease.

MSU Outpatient Clinics and Services


A wide range of general and specialist rheumatology clinics are held including:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Connective tissue and autoimmune disorders (ie. lupus, scleroderma and dermatomyositis)
  • Psoriatic, inflammatory and other arthritis related conditions
  • Early arthritis clinic
  • Sports injuries
  • Transitional care (for patient transferring from the children to adult service)
  • Ultrasound guided injections and aspirations (removal) of fluid

Our nurses also provide a DMARD (disease modifying anti-rheumatoid drug) monitoring service to inform patients about the drugs they are taking and how to monitor blood levels and self-administer their medication.

Metabolic Bone Disease

The Metabolic Bone Disease Service runs clinics to monitor bone density and  diagnose osteoporosis so that the appropriate treatment can be provided. 

There is a Bone Densitometry Scanning Unit based in the department with two DEXA scanning machines and there is also a stand alone x-ray facility providing clinical staff with state of the art digital imaging of your scans.

We have three osteoporosis nurse specialists who review patients both independently and alongside the bone mineral consultant.

Elective Orthopaedic

There are a number of clinics for patients both before and after all types of elective orthopaedic surgery, including:

  • Upper limb surgery including specialist hand surgery
  • Lower limb surgery including foot and ankle surgery with a specialist in biomechanics and an orthotist who hold special clinics
  • Spinal surgery
  • Joint replacement or athroplasty surgery

We also run combined clinics for more complex conditions such as bone and soft tissue tumours (sarcomas).

There is a fast track back pain service available and our patients have access to a team of plaster technicians when required.

The Appliance Service is also situated within the Musculo Skeletal Outpatient Department where you can be provided with specialist equipment to help with mobility and function.

How to find us

Directions to the wardShow [+] Hide [-]

The Musculo Skeletal Outpatient Department is based at Freeman Hospital. To find us:

  • Come through the main entrance of the hospital and walk straight down the corridor, past the shop and hairdressers until you reach the end.
  • Turn left and continue straight ahead past the lifts, heading slightly to the right until you see the sign for the Musculo Skeletal Outpatient Department.
  • Follow the red line and register your arrival at the reception desk for all clinics.
  • For bone scans follow the green line on the floor.
  • Pre assessment patients who report to the nurses station follow the blue line on the floor.

How to get to the hospital

Staff you are likely to meet

The clinical team in the outpatient department is led by Sister Sophie Blakey and consists of medical and nursing staff, plaster technicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, specialists in biomechanics, orthotists, and other support staff.

Different members of the team will see you during your visit depending on the type of treatment you require.

Things you need to know

  • Please report to the receptionist 10 minutes before your appointment, (unless advised to attend earlier) and show your appointment card.
  • If you are experiencing any problems managing at home please talk to a member of the nursing staff before you leave the clinic.
  • If you have a plaster cast in place, you should also have a copy of the plaster care leaflet, so you know how to care for your cast at home. Please ask a member of staff for a copy before you leave the department.
  • All walking aids should be returned to the clinic when you no longer need them as they are regularly in short supply and are needed for use by other patients.
  • Every effort will be made to ensure you are seen by a doctor on time. However there are times when your doctor may have to spend longer with a patient than originally thought. Information on any delays will be displayed on the notice board in the waiting area and we appreciate your patience.
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