Ankylosing Spondylitis

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Pre-referral work-up

History

All referrals should comply to referral standards and include in particular:

  • Onset of condition
  • Pain pattern – back pain, morning stiffness duration
  • Family history
  • Social/work history
  • Functional capacity
  • Current and past medications
  • Current and past therapies

If the diagnosis is established refer if:

  • Worsening of disability
  • Threat to independence
  • Difficulty with employment
  • Assistance with self management

Tests

  • FBE
  • ESR or CRP
  • LFT
  • U&E
  • HLA B27
  • XR AP pelvis and lateral L spine

Interim/GP management

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Inflammatory Spinal clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

Consider paracetamol and NSAIDS to reduce symptoms.

Physical therapies - regular exercise, stretching, weight control, heat and ice may improve symptoms and maintain mobility.

Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) and Biologic agents may be advised by the Consultant.

For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.

Urgent / category 1

Febrile patients with acute exacerbation of back pain

Semi-urgent / category 2

Severely incapacitating disease

Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.

Patient information advice is found at Arthritis Australia

Emergency:

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED). Please contact ED Medical Officer in Charge:
LGH ED – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6348 7382
MCH ED – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED – Phone: (03) 6493 6340  Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED - Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Urgent:

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:

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks

Routine:

Next available appointment