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Oxford Spinal Surgery Unit

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Our clinics

Adult General Spine Clinics

We see adult patients with spinal pain, with or without nerve pain in the arm or leg, in these clinics.

The purpose of the clinics is to determine whether patients' pain can be helped by an operation on the spine. Not all patients who attend this clinic will be listed for an operation. Further investigations may, but not always, be requested.

Imaging does not often change the initial management plan and imaging will only be requested if it is likely to change the management outcome.

We will send you a questionnaire to complete before your appointment. Please fill this in as well as you can as it helps the clinician to understand your problems better at your appointment.

Adult Consultant Spine Clinics

Most patients referred to Oxford Spinal Surgery Unit will be seen first in the Adult General Spine Clinic, above.

Patients we see in consultant clinics usually have a more complicated spinal presentation, such as:

  • previous complex surgery
  • fractures of the spine
  • infections in the spine
  • cancers of the spine
  • complications from previous surgery.

Pre-operative Assessment Clinic (POAC)

If you have been told you need an operation, you will be asked to attend a Pre-operative Assessment Clinic

These clinics are for people who are being considered for spinal surgery and would like to have an operation. They will have already been seen in another spinal clinic first. Clinics take place a few weeks before surgery.

At your appointment we will consider the clinical benefit for you of having surgery, as well as your fitness for surgery, which will involve an anaesthetic assessment. You will also have the opportunity to discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with the surgeon.

For information about spinal surgery please visit:

British Association of Spine Surgeons (BASS) - Patient Information

If you are not keen on having an operation on your spine, it would be better to have an appointment in one of our other clinics, to discuss your other options.

Adult Deformity Clinic

This clinic is for patients with a change in shape to the normal curve of their spine. At this clinic you will see a specialist who will have a long discussion with you about how this change in shape affects your life and impacts your function.

Your specialist will decide if any further imaging is required, and discuss your expectations and options for treatment with you.

Paediatric Clinics

These clinics are for patients under 16 years of age. A spinal surgeon will do a thorough assessment and talk to the patient and their family about their problems. They may also request imaging to give them further information about management options.