Mechanical neck pain with/out arm pain with no neurological deficit
North South North West Statewide
All referrals should comply to referral standards and include in particular:
- Presence and duration of neurological symptoms and signs including evidence of lower limb spasticity
- Work status
- Weight loss, appetite loss and lethargy
- Fever and sweats
- Treatment to date
- Previous malignant disease
- General medical condition
- Height, weight and BMI
Investigations (only if indicated):
- Plain x-ray
- FBC/CRP & ESR
- Consider calcium and phosphate, protein
- Rheumatoid serology in specific cases
- CT scan only in suspected fracture
To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Neurosurgery clinic page for the full referral process and templates.
- Activity modification
- Consider physiotherapy
- Maybe trial of soft collar if severe
Refer if symptoms and signs persist despite adequate care >6/52 – initial referral should be to Rheumatology or Pain Assessment and they may on refer to neurosurgery
For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.
Semi-urgent / category 2
Mechanical neck pain
Routine / category 3
Patients with no referred arm pain or neurological deficit and unremarkable imaging are not routinely seen
Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.
Proceed to Emergency Department (ED).
LGH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6777 6405 Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED* – Phone: (03) 6478 5120 Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED* – Phone: (03) 6493 6351 Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6166 6100 Fax: (03) 6173 0489. Phone the Neurosurgery Registrar on call via Switch (03) 6166 8308 and/or send to RHH DEM
Advice for medical practitioners can be given by the Medical Officer In Charge (MOIC) - see HealthPathways Tasmania for contact information.
*MCH and NWRH MOICs request GPs call them prior to referring a patient to ensure the patient is being sent appropriately to a safe destination.
Urgent cases must be discussed with the Neurosurgery Registrar on call to obtain appropriate prioritisation and a referral faxed to (03) 6173 0491
We will endeavour to see these patients within 30 days, or sooner if clinically indicated.
We will endeavour to see these patients within 90 days, or sooner if clinically indicated.
Next available appointment. We will endeavour to see these patients within 365 days.