Referring your patient with a lumbar disorder

Orthopaedic Spinal Services in South Australia are accessed through the Spinal Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH). The following referral information is relevant to spinal and specialty services provided at the RAH.

Patients residing in the Southern Local Health Network area should be referred to the appropriate outpatient specialist service located within their region (if available).

How to refer your patient the the relevant area

Orthopaedic Spinal Services, Royal Adelaide Hospital

General Practitioners referring their patients to Orthopaedic Spinal Services must complete the new referral form GP Referral to Spinal Outpatient Services (RTF 343KB). It is mandatory that the GP Referral to Spinal Outpatient Services (RTF 343KB) form is completed and faxed or posted to RAH Spinal Outpatient Services (see the form for details). Failure to do so will result in the referral being returned for completion prior to processing and triage.

Information about the booking process is available in the Patient Focused Booking brochure (PDF 93KB) and an outline of Spinal Assessment Clinic appointments (PDF 674KB) can be downloaded.

Cases with suspected acute cauda equina syndrome potentially represent a surgical emergency and should be discussed with the on-call spinal fellow/registrar at the RAH without delay (contact 8222 4000).

Pain Management Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital

The Pain Management Unit requires a detailed referral from the patient’s general practitioner. Any letters from specialists, investigation results, details of previous treatments and who else their patient has seen for their pain should be included.

Upon receipt of referral, patients are mailed a questionnaire to be completed and sent back to the Pain Unit to assist with triage.

Alternatively, general practitioners are encouraged to fill out the questionnaire (PDF 297KB) at the time of referral to fast-track this process.

Specialty Outpatient Departments, Royal Adelaide Hospital

The ability of Outpatient Clinics to assess urgent cases depends on the quality of the information provided with each referral. For referral to other RAH specialist outpatient clinics please complete the referral form: Referral to Emergency Department and Outpatient department (PDF 129KB) and post/fax to the relevant department

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