Inflammatory Spinal

Multidisciplinary assessment and management of inflammatory spinal conditions (axial spondyloarthritis).

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Scope

Patients with known or suspected inflammatory spinal conditions

Inflammatory back pain is usually insidious in onset at age <45 and associated with nocturnal pain, 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

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

Exclusions: * Febrile patients with acute exacerbation of back pain, or acute monoarticular joint pain and swelling with systemic features and high inflammatory markers – needs exclusion of sepsis (refer to ED or d/w rheumatologist)

Referral process

Separate clinic lists are maintained for medical, nursing and physiotherapy aspects of care. Patients are initially assessed by a member of the team, and may then be cross-referred within the clinic as necessary. Registrar cases will be discussed with consultant.

All referrals triaged and allocated to a team member based on clinical priority.

NB. Patients may also be referred for physiotherapy only, and remain under the care of their existing medical practitioner.

Clinic Appointments - Appointments are based on clinical priority

Emergency

* Fever

* Neurological signs

* Cauda equina signs

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED).
LGH ED Reception  – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED* – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED* – Phone: (03) 6493 6351 Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Advice for medical practitioners can be given by the Medical Officer In Charge (MOIC) - see HealthPathways Tasmania for contact information.
*MCH and NWRH MOICs request GPs call them prior to referring a patient to ensure the patient is being sent appropriately to a safe destination.

Urgent / category 1

We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks

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 and New to axial SpA (AS).