What to expect when you visit Spine Centre
Our aim is to provide a comprehensive and quality service to ensure that the cause of your pain and discomfort is accurately determined. This accurate diagnosis will then result in the adoption of an appropriate treatment plan to restore function and quality of life.
To ensure your best possible care, the SpineCentre team has developed a patient management methodology, which has proven to be very effective over the years.
As this methodology may very well differ from that which you have experienced when consulting other health care providers, we would like to inform you of what to expect when you visit SpineCentre.
- Once you have made an appointment you will be asked to share your demographic details with a staff member for record purposes. To save time on the day of your consultation, this process can also be done securely via the website.
- You will be asked to complete 4 questionnaires relating to your neck or back problem, possible physical disability as well as pain experienced. These responses will allow your doctor to better understand the severity of your problem, which will, in turn, inform decision-making regarding your treatment. These questionnaires can be completed online, or on the day of your consultation.
- An appointment, at a time convenient to you, will then be scheduled. In case of an emergency we request that your general practitioner phone the practice to discuss the details with one of our doctors. In such a case the appointment will be expedited and, in the vast majority of cases, the patient will be assessed the same day.
- Please bring along a list of chronic medication when you first visit the practice.
- A copy of previous imaging studies done of your spine will also be helpful. If the imaging studies were done in the Western Cape we should be able to access them online from SpineCentre.
- On the day of your consultation you will meet one of our doctors at SpineCentre who will take a thorough history and do a physical examination.
- In the vast majority of cases special imaging studies and/or other investigations will be required. These will consequently be ordered and scheduled.
- Test results are generally not available the same day and a follow-up appointment will thus be scheduled within the same week at the patient’s convenience.
- A final treatment plan will be formulated once all required investigations are available. A second specialist will consult with you at this time offering a second opinion to so ensure that the best possible treatment plan is followed.
- Follow-up will be determined according to the pathology and specific treatment needed. In general, patients treated without an operation will be discharged at 3 months post consultation if they are doing well. Patients treated with surgery are seen regularly for a period of one year to ensure a successful outcome.
- In the minority of cases surgery is needed to correct the pathology and relieve pain. These patients enter a rigorous pre-operative planning program which includes:
- Consultation with a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist and a dietician.
- If needed, patients will be assessed by a physician to ensure that he/she is fit for an operation.
- During the informed consent process the patient will be counseled at length to ensure that all implications and risks are understood.