This site has been designed to provide information for my patients so that they know what to expect when they come to see me in my clinic at South Coast Spine, prior to the consultation itself.
Many scientific studies have shown that information retention by a patient following a 30 or 40 minute consultation with a specialist is extremely low and this has nothing to do with their level of intelligence or motivation to learn about their condition.
Studies have shown that 40-80% of medical information provided by healthcare practitioners is forgotten immediately. The greater the amount of information presented, the lower the proportion correctly recalled - this information comes from a great study performed by McGuire in 1996 and published in the literature. Furthermore, almost half of the information that is remembered is actually incorrect!
When a patient visits a spine specialist for the first time they are usually in significant pain, extremely anxious, completely in the dark as to why they are so disabled, carrying a wheelbarrow full of certificates, WorkCover forms, second third and fourth opinions, CT scans, x-rays and MRI scans that can span decades and troubled by the fact that spine surgery is generally perceived amongst the public and non-surgical practitioners to be unsuccessful at alleviating pain.
It is my hope that this website will give such patients a chance to understand how spine surgery has changed over the last decade, an insight into the cause of their pain before they even get to see me, an explanation of how I personally examine, investigate and treat my patients so that the time spent with me in my clinic can be used most efficiently and lastly, as a point of contact.
As well as for the betterment of my own patients my hope is that this site will also serve as an educational resource for anyone contemplating spine surgery, no matter who their surgeon. It should empower and stimulate the patient to ask of their spine surgeon relevant questions. It has been written in such a way that no medical knowledge is required to understand the concepts portrayed. I make no apology for using basic, simple terms and I've written everything in a manner very similar to the way in which I conduct my consultations. I would recommend strongly that you should read Spine - Anatomy and Mechanics. Understanding the concepts on this page is paramount to understanding the rest of the site.
I work on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. My medical training was at St Thomas's Hospital in London and all post-graduate training in orthopaedics and spine was conducted in Queensland. I have a particular interest in spinal reconstruction using disc replacement and other motion preserving technology. 95% of my spine surgery uses modern, minimally invasive techniques. It is important to say that I have no financial interest in any medical device company but do consult with the industry in terms of product development. I am involved in research projects in relation to some devices but derive no income from such.
You are welcome to come and see me for a consultation. Forms can be downloaded from the page Patient Information and Forms – these forms would need to be printed, filled and posted or faxed to us.
I welcome any comments from readers about this website – whether or not it can be improved in terms of its presentation of concepts and other information which you might feel useful for the general public to learn about. My thanks go to my patients who have given permission to use their x-rays and other images on this site, Dr Gillard in the USA for the kind use of some of his custom images from his own website.