Clinic Appointment Questions

Q: How long after my clinic appointment will my surgery be?

Surgery wait times are extremely unpredictable due to the variety of medical issues that we address and due to the high volumes of patients that are seen. Your surgery will be organized by your surgeon based on the severity of your medical issues.

Q: What do I need to bring to my clinic appointment?

You will need to bring your provincial health card and a list of your current medications.

Q: Where is the Preadmission Clinic (PAC)?

The Pre-Admission Clinic is located 700 William Avenue, Clinic E Main floor, Purple Bear Zone.

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Q: Where can I park at the hospital?

There are a number of lots located around the hospital. Please see map of parking lot addresses below.

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Q: Where are your clinics located?

We are located at Health Science Centre

Orthopedic Clinic- 700 William Avenue, Clinic D (Desk 2), Main floor, Purple Bear Zone.

Neurosurgery clinic- 820 Sherbrook - GB1, Main Floor, Green Owl Zone.

The Spine Assessment Clinic- 700 William Avenue, Clinic E Main floor, Purple Bear Zone.

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Referral Questions

Q: How long until I receive an appointment after my referral is sent?

After your referral is sent to the Winnipeg Spine Program, you will be offered an appointment to see a spine surgeon based on the urgency of your condition. In many cases, you may not have an appointment for many months.

Q: I do not have a family doctor, who can refer me?

You may see any family physician at a walk in clinic anywhere in the province.

Q: Do I need a referral?

Yes you will need a referral from your family physician.

Q: Can I see a surgeon of my choice?

Yes you may choose which surgeon you would prefer to see for elective referrals.  Please ensure you indicate your doctor preference to your referring physician so that he/she can specify which surgeon you would like to see.  Please note that for urgent or emergent referrals you will be assessed by the first available surgeon.

Q: Is there a number I can call to check on the status of my referral?

If you would like to check if your referral was received and processed, you can call 204-787-7267.

If it has been confirmed that your referral was received, we ask that you do not continue to call the clinics to check on where you are on wait list. Once we have an appointment for you, you will be contacted. Due to an extremely high volume of referrals, wait times may be excessive. If your issue is getting worse, we recommend you visit your family physician or the emergency room. We thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Q: Can I go on another surgeon’s waitlist that may be shorter?

Currently, all spine surgeons have excessive wait times for clinic appointments and surgery. We will make every effort to triage your case accordingly.

Q: Can I send multiple referrals to different spine surgeons?

All Spine referrals are received and entered into the same database. Sending multiple referrals will not speed up the process of being seen. We only recommend sending a second referral if there is any additional information regarding your spine, to be added to your file (CT scans, MRI’s X-rays etc.)

Q: Can I be put on a cancellation list?

Yes. Please let the administrative staff know that you would like to be put on the cancellation list for an appointment or for surgery.

Q: Referral Process: What happens once my referral is received by Winnipeg Spine Program?

Once the referral is received, it is entered into a database and then the surgeon who is on call will assign the referral to one of the surgeons or the Spine Assessment Clinic. Depending on the severity of each patient and which clinic they are assigned to, that will determine the wait time. Once the specific surgeon or spine assessment clinic has an appointment date for the patient, they will contact the patient.

Q: Who triages the referrals?

They are triaged by the spine surgeon on call

Services Offered

Q: Do we offer endoscopic spine surgery?

We do not offer endoscopic spine surgery at this time.

Q: Do we offer laser surgery?

Laser spine surgery is not offered in Manitoba

Q: Do we offer disc replacement?

Yes, disc replacement surgery is offered by the Winnipeg Spine Program.

Q: Do we perform epidural spine injections?

We do not offer epidural spine injections. These injections are performed by Pain Management physicians across the province. Your family physician will be able to make the appropriate referral for you if you do desire.

Spine Assessment Clinic Questions

Q: Do I go to the back of the line to see a surgeon if I have been seen by SAC?

Once you have been seen at the Spine Assessment clinic, your information will be sent to one of our spine surgeons for review and your case will be triaged based on the urgency of your condition.

Q: Who are we seeing for the SAC assessment?

Spine assessments are performed by physiotherapists, who have specialized training in spine surgical screening. These clinicians have spent time in clinic with our group of spine surgeons, have been taught how to interpret spinal imaging and have been educated in the indicators for surgical consultation.

Q: How long is the Spine Assessment Clinic Appointment?

The appointment takes 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Q: What is the purpose of Spine Assessment Clinic Evaluation?

The SAC will attempt to determine the possible pain generator(s), after a thorough subjective history, a complete spinal examination and review of relevant investigative studies. The clinician will give advice on appropriate treatment strategies based on the suspected pain source, the results of previous treatment trialed, the clinical impact of spinal pathology, the patient’s functional capability and preference for symptom management. A decision regarding the need/appropriateness for surgical consultation will be determined, based on the information obtained during the examination.

Q: How long is the Spine Assessment Clinic wait?

Our current wait time is 3 months, after receiving the patient information from the referring surgeon. However, wait times fluctuate and are subject to change, based on the volumes of referrals received per month.