What to wear
Most patients attending spine clinics need to have an x-ray as part of their appointment. For this, you will need to wear clothing with no metal in it. This includes bras with under wires and metal fastenings.
Gowns or scrubs are provided for you to change into but if you wear suitable clothing, for example jogging trousers or leggings with a t-shirt, you don’t need to get changed.
What happens when you arrive
When you arrive at children’s outpatients, please let their staff know. If you do not need an x-ray or other test before seeing the doctor, please take a seat and you will be called as soon as possible.
There are usually lots of clinics being held at the same time so it may appear that people who arrive after you are seen first. Please be reassured that you will be seen by your doctor in the correct order.
You may be sent for x-ray on arrival to outpatients. The staff in children’s outpatients will give you directions. If you or a member of your family cannot walk far, there are wheelchairs at the entrance of the hospital you can use.
When you get to the radiology department for your x-ray, please let their reception staff know you have arrived. This department is also very busy so you may have to wait a while to be seen.
This does not mean you have missed your appointment with the spine surgeon. You will be seen as soon as possible when you get back to children’s outpatients. Please let the outpatient staff know you have come back so they can let the doctor know you are waiting.
What happens in the clinic room
You will be seen by either the consultant or a registrar, and the specialist nurse.
You will be asked what brought you to clinic, for a brief medical and developmental history, and depending on what the problem is, you will have a physical examination.
This may involve standing, bending, walking on your toes and heels, then lying on an examination couch. You may have your reflexes tested, using a tendon hammer to tap gently on your legs and arms.
The doctor may also check you have equal sensation on both sides of your body by touching your skin in different places. The doctor will then discuss his findings and what the x-ray you have had shows. A plan will then be made for any further tests, referrals to other professionals or follow up appointments.
If you are prescribed a brace or shoe insoles, please wear these as recommended and make sure you are wearing them when you come back to clinic to enable the surgeon to assess their effectiveness.