Joe’s Story

PhysioNow detected a possible significant condition at the end of normal working hours, enabling Joe to receive quicker access to clinical advice and urgent investigations.

Patient Stories

PhysioNow identifies a potentially serious condition on a Friday afternoon, enabling immediate treatment outside working hours, saving 3-day delay to assessment


Joe is 22 years of age and was referred to Connect Health from his GP with low back pain on a Friday afternoon. He was directed to PhysioNow® and he completed the online assessment the same day. The outcome was a referral to urgent NHS 111 due to a new onset of bladder urgency and difficulty controlling urine. (These symptoms are potential indicators of a rare but serious condition called cauda equina syndrome (CES) where the nerves at the bottom of the spine which control bladder/bowel function can be compressed).

The Connect Health clinician called the patient the following Monday to check on his symptoms and the outcome of calling NHS 111.

  • Joe had followed the advice given and called NHS 111.
  • An ambulance was called and Joe was admitted to hospital following his attendance in A+E.
  • He had an MRI scan as the Consultant was concerned he may have CES due to his bladder symptoms and also rapidly worsening bilateral leg pain.
  • Luckily no Cauda Equina Compression was detected but a large disc bulge was identified – no emergency surgery was required which would have been the case if CES had been identified.


Outcome summary

This gentleman had a potential serious condition picked up by PhysioNow’s clinical algorithms. He followed the advice given and via NHS 111 and then A+E, he was admitted to a spinal ward and was investigated to exclude CES. This was all done with him having completed PhysioNow on the day of referral and at 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon, his emergency assessments all took place over the weekend. In this case PhysioNow detected a possible significant condition at the end of normal working hours and without PhysioNow this gentleman would have waited a number of days for a consultation, if this had indeed been CES any delay can impact significantly on recovery.



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