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Spine Program
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What patients can expect

We treat all conditions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

New patient

Please have a referral faxed by your family physician to one of our spine surgeons. The faxed referral should also include your most recent CT scan or MRI report. The surgeon’s office will follow up with details about your appointment to your family doctor’s office.

You can be seen either by the surgeon or the Advanced Practice Physiotherapist.

Preparing for your appointment

Bring a CD with your latest CT or MRI images to your appointment. You can get the CD from the hospital that performed these tests by calling the radiology department to request a copy which you will then need to pick up.

If your CT or MRI tests were done at Sunnybrook, you do not need to do that, as we have direct access.

After your first appointment

Based on the outcome of your appointment, if surgery is considered appropriate, you will be contacted at a later date with a pre-op (before surgery) appointment.

At the pre-op visit you will be notified of the time and date of your surgery.

Pre-op appointments are held at either:

  • Pre-Assessment Clinic (Room MG 202)
  • Outpatient Procedures Clinic (Room MG 502)

Please remember that Sunnybrook is a trauma hospital and due to unexpected and urgent need, surgeries can be cancelled. We strive to provide timely treatment for spinal disorders but on occasion, your surgery date may need to be rescheduled one week to one day before the surgery. We make every effort to avoid this, but in some cases it is unavoidable.

Current or follow-up patient

If you are currently a patient of Dr. Finkelstein, Dr. Ford, Dr. Yee, or Dr. Larouche and would like to book a follow-up appointment, or inquire about a test result, please contact the appropriate doctor’s office.

If you are asking about a surgery date, the surgeon’s office will contact you once the procedure is booked.

Sunnybrook contributes to continuous quality improvements in patient care

Part of Sunnybrook’s ongoing academic mission as a teaching hospital is to contribute to continuous quality improvement in patient care as such you may have to interact with various members of the Spine Program team which involves surgeons, surgical fellows, nurses, advanced practice physiotherapists, research assistants and medical students.

Each of the attending spine surgeons you may meet, have appointments at the University of Toronto and are involved in teaching medical students, residents and fellows.

Spine fellows have completed their specialty training in orthopaedics or neurosurgery and are obtaining further sub-specialized experience in spinal disorders. There are two fellows working in the Spine Program at any time.

Medical students are also called clinical clerks, the undergraduate students and recent graduates are called residents. They are supervised and may also be involved in your care.