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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 at RAH

General Practitioners referring their patients to Orthopaedic Spinal Services must complete the referral form below:

It is mandatory that the 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 following documents:

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 (08) 7074 0000.

Pain Management Unit at RAH

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

The ability of outpatient clinics to assess urgent cases depends on the quality of the information provided with each referral. For referral to other CALHN specialist outpatient clinics please view the CALHN specialist and outpatient clinics web page and post/fax appropriate forms to the relevant department.

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