Our experienced, consultant orthopaedic spinal and neurosurgeons will ensure they get a detailed history of your problem. This will enable them to request any appropriate diagnostic imaging and help them understand whether surgery may be necessary.
You will undergo an expert physical examination. This will include tests to analyse your posture and your spinal range of motion as well as a thorough neurological examination which may include:
- Assessing your walking (gait) pattern
- Assessing reflexes
- Power tests
- Sensation tests
- Co-ordination tests
- Further neurological tests may be conducted depending on the exact presentation
State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you
Our experts will request any imaging they feel is necessary to confirm suspected diagnoses following your initial consultation.
The correct imaging techniques are also useful to help establish the extent of any structural problems and how things may progress if surgery is not conducted
To get the best possible understanding of the problem, our experts will normally request more than one form of imaging.
- X-ray: In cases where there may be a significant spinal deformity, such as a scoliosis, a full spinal X-ray may be requested at specialist views to determine possible progression and how to rebalance the spine during a surgical procedure.
- CT scans: may be requested when requiring a more detailed view to the bony architecture of the spine. Specialist CT scans (known as SPECT-CT scans) can be useful when assessing for any fractures not visible on a standard X-ray.
- MRI scans: are the normal scan of choice when assessing for most forms of mechanical spinal pain or radiating pain in to the arms or legs. An MRI scan gives a good impression of the intervertebral discs and facet joints as well as the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots. An MRI scan can also give a reliable indication of inflammation adjacent to painful joints, which in some cases may signify instability.
The right treatment for you, always
Due to the importance of spinal conditions and the highly specialist areas that spinal medicine comprises, decisions regarding surgical and non-surgical management will often be taken by a multidisciplinary team comprising:
- Consultant spinal orthopaedic surgeon
- Consultant neurosurgeon
- Consultant anesthetist in pain management
- Specialist nurse
- Specialist physiotherapist
You will always be given space and time to talk about how your symptoms have affected you. In addition, your individual goals - whether sporting or non-sporting - will be thoroughly discussed with you to determine the best possible management plan.
In cases where our multi-disciplinary teams and a patient feel that the best onward management plan may be a non-surgical route, we will always discuss other options available.
This may include a course of rehabilitation overseen by our specialist physiotherapists, spinal injections and denervation procedures administered by our pain management department or psychological talking therapies as necessary.