MSK Information for Patients and Families 

What to expect when you are referred to MSK Hip and Knee Care

  • If you and your Primary Care Provider (PCP) agree that specialty care is needed for your hip or knee osteoarthritis, your PCP will offer you a choice of the following:
    • first available assessment
    • first available surgeon
    • preferred surgeon
    • preferred hospital, or
    • closest to home
  • An administrative support person will contact you from the Rapid Access Clinic and offer you an appointment with a regulated health professional (assessor).
  • At the appointment, your assessor will perform a comprehensive assessment and work with you to develop a self-management plan . This will help you manage your symptoms by connecting you with local programs and resources.
  • A summary of the appointment will be shared with your PCP who will remain involved in your care. 
  • If you and your assessor agree, you will be scheduled to see a surgeon. You will again be offered your choice of first available surgeon, preferred surgeon or preferred hospital.


What is Self-Management?

Living with hip and knee osteoarthritis can be challenging and can affect your day-to-day life and how you see and feel about yourself. Self-management refers to a person’s ability to manage their daily tasks while living with one or more ongoing health conditions.  It involves gaining confidence, knowledge and skills to manage physical, social, and emotional aspects of life while living with chronic conditions. Examples of self-management activities include:

  • increasing physical activity
  • healthy eating
  • managing pain and fatigue
  • managing stress
  • understanding emotions
  • communication skills
  • working effectively with health care professionals 

To learn more about workshops for people with health conditions and/for caregivers, visit the Central East LHIN Self-Management Program website at

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) refers to inflammation of the joints. Bone tissue near the joint cartilage is also affected.

What causes osteoarthritis? In some people, the normal process of continuous repair in the joints is disrupted. There are a variety of reasons for this, such as a problem with the repair process itself or severe wear and tear in the joints. The following factors may increase the risk of OA:

  • Age. Increasing age increases the chance of OA
  • Genetics. Some people may be more at risk if they have family members with OA
  • Increased body weight. People with obesity are more likely to develop hip and knee OA
  • Being female. There is an increased chance of developing OA in women than men
  • Prior joint injury, damage or deformity.
  • Occupational overuse of a joint. 

Typical symptoms include joint pain and a reduced range of motion in the joint. Joint stiffness which is worse in the mornings may occur and an affected joint may look larger than normal.

If you struggle with osteoarthritis, ask your PCP about the MSK Central Intake and RACs model to see if this is a good option for you.

Osteoarthritis Resources
Arthritis Society:
Inter-professional Spine Assessment and Education Clinics (ISAEC):

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Transforming MSK Care, please feel free to contact the Central East LHIN.

For questions related to patient scheduling or assessments, please contact the RAC directly. Note, if a referral has been sent to Central Intake, please allow a few business days before the RAC can begin patient scheduling.

For any other general questions about the MSK pathway, please contact Benjamin McNamee at 1-866-804-5446 (Toll-Free) or 1-877-743-7939 (TTY) ext. 3201 or at