COVID-19 FAQs

Each patient will be individually assessed for the need to proceed with urgent surgery. The Spine Centre is committed to providing a responsible service during the time of uncertainty to all patients with spinal pathology. Non-urgent, elective surgery will be rescheduled to a date after the ‘lock down’ period to when it is deemed safe to proceed. If you have intractable pain not responsive to analgesia the surgery will proceed. You will be contacted by the Spine Centre to assess your pain levels and to decide on the urgency of surgery.
Yes, if your pain is so severe that you need urgent medical attention you may seek medical attention. We urge all patients to first discuss your problem with your GP and if he/she feels that your pain cannot be managed with analgesia, to schedule an appointment at the Spine Centre.
Your health and the health of all our patients and staff are of utmost importance and we therefore request that if you have any underlying flu symptoms to reschedule your appointment. Please contact your GP to discuss your symptoms and he/she will advise you on the appropriate treatment. Your surgery will be postponed until you are safe for anaesthesia.
Strict infection prevention protocols has been instituted at all hospitals as well as isolation protocols to prevent the spread of diseases/COVID-19 between patients. No COVID-19 cases have been admitted to date to any of the hospitals we operate in. In the event that a COVID-19 case does get admitted we will re-evaluate our service. We are in continuous discussion with infection control to decide if your surgery is safe to proceed. Every possible effort will be made to ensure that you are not exposed to any disease/virus during your hospital admission.

We request that you email info@spinecentre.co.za with your details and the medication that is required. We will review your file and e-mail you a prescription as soon as possible. Please include a contact number for us to reach you in order to discuss your medication if needed. Due to the high load of queries, we advise all patients to send the e-mail at least one week prior to medication requiring refill.

Due to the exceptional circumstances, each WCA (Workmans Compensation Act) case will be individually assessed. First assessments will be done once service resumes and will not have an effect on your claim. Only emergency cases will be assessed during this time. Emergency cases are deemed as any suspected vertebral fracture, pain radiating to the arms or legs not resolved with oral analgesia and rest, neurological weakness and loss of bowel or bladder control. In such cases, it is advised that you contact the nearest emergency department for assessment and referral to the Spine Centre. Progress reports and final reports will resume once the COVID-19 lockdown has been lifted.
Your appointment will be rescheduled for the earliest available date after our normal service resumes. Please contact us if you have any concern regarding your wound. At 3 weeks most wounds are completely healed and the dressing may be removed. It is advised that you liaise with us if you have any uncertainty. Continue with your physiotherapy home exercises as prescribed. Your control X-rays will be done on the day of your rescheduled appointment. If you are wearing a brace, continue to do so until the scheduled appointment.
Please feel free to e-mail info@spinecentre.co.za with your concerns and we will attend to you as soon as possible. We will do a telephonic screening to assess the need for more urgent investigation/intervention. If you experience unrelenting pain radiating down a limb that is not relieved by rest and analgesia please use the email to inform us, we will attend to you urgently.
It is advised that you contact the Spine Centre to discuss your symptoms urgently to ensure that you do not have an underlying wound infection.
All basic dietetic services will be suspended until the national lock down is lifted.
Protocols have been set in place to assist patients who need in-hospital or pre-operative nutritional support.
For all pre-operative carbohydrate loading a dietetic script as well as written user instructions have been created. The secretary will make sure you receive these two documents together with your pre-operative washing kit at the Spine Centre. If a patient has any questions they may e-mail the dietitian at yventery@yahoo.com
For all post operative oral nutrition support which may be needed, a protocol has been put in place to be used by our doctors who can prescribe oral nutrition support accordingly.
All other out patient dietetics consultation can be re-scheduled for a suitable date after Monday 20 April 2020.
All in-hospital physiotherapy services will continue. During your hospital stay the physiotherapist will ensure that your rehabilitation is optimized prior to discharge. Upon discharge a home exercise program will be provided and you will receive education regarding this exercise program as well as guidelines for the post-operative period. Your normal physiotherapy regime with face-to-face consultation with the physiotherapist will restart after the ‘lock down’ period.
In the event that your surgery is rescheduled, resume the use of your chronic medication and anticoagulants.
Once you have a new date for surgery, these medications will need to be discontinued according to the advice given to you by the Spine Centre.
Ecotrin/Aspirin will usually be stopped between 7-10 days prior to surgery, depending on the type of surgery.
Warfarin will usually require a transition period of Clexane 5 days prior to surgery, which will also require to be stopped 24 hours prior to surgery.
It is important to discuss the cessation of the above medication with the Spine Centre doctors prior to surgery, as they will guide you on the correct protocol.
Yes, it is important to adhere to social distancing and self-isolation protocols as provided by the Department of Health. Avoid any unnecessary contact with any other patients, staff members or even family at any time during your admission. Minimize the number of family members during visiting hours and if at all possible request them to rather stay at home. Be vigilant to disinfect your hands after every contact and wipe any surfaces in your direct environment at regular intervals. Wash your hands regularly. Drink enough liquids. The hospital will also provide guidelines on the prevention of transmission. They will also provide enough hand sanitizers and soap. The hospital has preventative measures in place to prevent transmission of infections and adhere to strict disinfection protocols.