Inflammatory Spinal

Multidisciplinary assessment and management of inflammatory spinal conditions


North South North West Statewide


THS Southern Region

For patients with known or suspected inflammatory spinal conditions.

Paediatric patients should be referred to paediatric clinic for initial assessment.

THS Northern and North West Regions

These patients are referred to General Medicine.

Emergency conditions

Emergency conditions/symptoms include (not an exhaustive list):  No specific condition is identified as an emergency.  Clinical judgement is required.

Referral process

A referral (preferably faxed) is required for all new appointments and must conform to the Referral Standards as outlined on For Clinicians.

Specific requirements are detailed in the individual clinic and condition referral guidelines.

Inflammatory back pain is usually insidious in onset at age <40 and associated with stiffness which is worse in the morning >30 minutes and after rest, and improved with exercise.

If the diagnosis is established refer if :

  • Worsening of disability
  • Threat to independence
  • Difficulty with employment
  • Assistance needed with self management
  • Advice and long-term monitoring required regarding axial mobility and appropriate exercise programs

All referrals triaged and allocated to Consultant or Unit Registrar based on clinical priority.

Patients are assessed by either the Rheumatologist or the Physiotherapist as per your request, and may then be cross-referred within the clinic as necessary. Registrar cases will be discussed with Consultant.

Clinic Appointments - Appointments are based on clinical priority:


Proceed to Emergency Department (ED). Please contact ED Medical Officer in Charge:
LGH ED – Phone: (03) 6777 8302  Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED – Phone: 0409 867 492  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED – Phone: 0459 848 725  Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED - Phone: (03) 6166 6101  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Urgent / category 1

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the Consultant/Registrar to organise urgent review and the referral must be faxed.

We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks, or sooner if clinically indicated.

Semi-urgent / category 2

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks

Routine / category 3

Next available appointment

Referral template

For use by health professionals only

Additional information

Patient information advice is found at Arthritis Australia