Rapid Access Clinic for Low Back Pain

Rapid Access Clinic for Low Back Pain

Back.pngLower back pain can be debilitating, and Markham Stouffville Hospital can help you get back in action. We can help empower you to better manage your pain and improve your quality of life.

Why come to MSH for your spine care?

MSH is a centre of excellence for all your orthopaedic needs. We can meet your cultural care requirements with our diverse staff and a full range of interpreter services.

We are proud to be one of the first community hospitals in Ontario offering a Rapid Access Clinic for Low Back Pain (formerly called ISAEC). It is a targeted approach to help manage chronic lower back pain.

Through this program, you will be assessed within four weeks after we receive your referral from your family doctor. The program provides education and evidence-based self management plans designed to help ease your chronic low back pain.

What is the Rapid Access Clinic for Low Back Pain?

This is an innovative new program where patients receive a rapid low back pain assessment. The program is for people over 18 years old who have had persistent low back pain and/or related leg symptoms such as leg pain, numbness or tingling for at least six weeks but not longer than a year. 

During the assessment, the doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your condition and medical history, and examine your back.

They will explain likely causes of your low back pain and create a plan to help you better manage your pain and improve your mobility. They will educate you about your condition and may recommend additional treatment, such as exercise and management options for pain.

If needed, the team will schedule appointments for spine specialists, and book diagnostic imaging tests or a consultation with a surgeon.

Spine surgery at Markham Stouffville Hospital

Depending on your situation, we can provide same-day or short-stay spine surgery. Same-day surgery allows you to recover in the comfort of your own home and can enable you to get back to your normal routine quickly.

MSH has a centralized referral centre for spine surgery. This allows you quick access to consultation – within four weeks of receiving your referral – and has helped streamline access to care and reduce wait times. In fact, MSH is regularly ranked as having some of the shortest wait times for surgery in Ontario. The centralized referral system offers detailed assessment with advanced practice practitioners, the ability to choose your surgeon, as well as additional information, education and support.

We are a one-stop shop for spine surgery. This means that for your particular surgery, we will aim to set up your assessment, anaesthetic and medical consults, education, labs and imaging all in one day.

When you undergo spine surgery at MSH, our orthopaedic patient navigator will support you and your family throughout your surgical journey including the first 90 days after surgery. If you have same-day surgery, follow-up appointments can also be done from your home through your computer, tablet or smart phone.

drkoo-title.pngWe are proud to have the surgeon lead for the low back spine program for the region right here at MSH: Dr. Kevin Koo.

We have a robust spinal surgery program offering high quality care based on the latest and best evidence, including:

  • Rapid assessment by skilled advanced practice practitioners
  • Short wait times for surgery
  • State-of-the-art operating rooms with the latest surgical technology
  • Image-guided surgery equipment
  • Full assessment with a nurse, as well as physician consults prior to surgery with our Surgical Assessment Clinic
  • Patient navigator to work with you and guide you every step of the way
  • Same-day discharge back to the comfort of your home where you recover faster
  • A follow-up phone call in the first couple days after you go home
  • Full education manual provided to keep you informed and prepared
  • Virtual care follow-up appointments with one of our nurse practitioners as part of our Surgical Wellness Clinic
  • Community partners who work with us to ensure the same high quality care will be provided after you leave our doors and start your recovery

Your spine surgery

If you are coming for surgery at MSH, please also see the Your surgical care journey and Day of surgery pages, where you will find out important information such as how to prepare for surgery and what to do/where to go when you arrive at the hospital.