Low back pain affects 80% of people at some stage in their lives but only a very small proportion of patients with lumbar disorders require scans or specialist consultation. This information aims to assist in the identification of these patients and provides the necessary information to know when and how to refer to orthopaedic spinal outpatient services.
The remainder of patients with low back pain are best managed through accessing community-based health care services according to recommendations that can be provided by their General Practitioner.
Clinical decision tools
A collection of clinical decision tools providing recommendations to help you confidently manage patients with lumbar disorders. These tools include assessment, imaging and analgesia guidelines, triage tools and diagnostic information
Clinical resources to assist with forming a diagnosis and supporting clinical decisions for patients with lumbar disorders. Resources include details of common clinical presentations, differential diagnoses and background information supporting imaging recommendations.
Information for screening potentially serious conditions (red flags) and psychosocial factors (yellow flags) is also provided. Explore the use of a validated yellow-flag screening tool and learn steps towards the better early behavioural management of pain.
Not sure how to refer your patient to Orthopaedic Spinal Outpatients? Does your patient require referral to an alternative outpatient clinic or the Emergency department? Details of referral requirements and processes (with links to relevant forms) are available on the Referring your patient page.
Please note, all relevant forms are to be received by the hospital before an appointment can be made.
Information sheets for patient use have been developed to ensure your patients are well informed. All resources are patient-focussed and include imaging recommendations, precautions when taking opiate analgesia and details of community support options. These and many more are available on the Lumbar resources for patients page.