Mr Alistair John Stirling

Consultant Spinal Surgeon


Clinical Interests

Assessment and non-surgical management of conditions of the thoraco-lumbar spine including:

  • Sciatica (slipped /prolapsed disc, trapped nerve)
  • Lower back pain
  • Spondylolysis / spondylolisthesis
  • Facet joint and nerve root injections
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Coccydynia

Professional Memberships

  • British Association of Spinal Surgeons
  • British Orthopaedic Association
  • Society for Back Pain Research
  • British Scoliosis Society
  • RCS Foundation Tutor in Spinal Surgery (2006-11)
  • National Back Pain Clinical Network

Personal profile

Over 30 years after his consultant appointment to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in 1990 Alistair Stirling has now discontinued operative spinal surgery. He continues to see patients for assessment and non-surgical management of all thoracic and low back spinal conditions, including back pain, Sciatica (slipped discs), Spinal Stenosis, Spondylolysis Spondylolisthesis, Coccydynia.

 He continues to provide image guided injection therapies. If required appropriate onward referral is made should surgery become necessary. He also offers second opinions for those for whom surgery is being considered and who wish independent review without vested interest.

His work has been recognised with a number of national awards:

  • 2013 NHS National Silver Merit Award.
  • 2018 Honorary Life Membership of the Society for Back Pain Research.
  • 2019 Honorary Life Membership of the National Back Pain Clinical Network
  • 2019 Honorary Life Fellowship of the British Orthopaedic Association.

At the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital he was responsible for the introduction of:

  • Physiotherapist based Back Pain and Sciatica clinics. Spinal on-call emergency rota.
  • Microsurgical spinal decompression and reconstructive techniques for spinal tumour, trauma, infection and degenerative disease.
  • 1995-2003 He was Clinical Lead Department of Spinal Surgery.
  • 2005-8 Lead Clinician National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
  • Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression Clinical Guideline 75 and Quality Standard 56
  • He is a recognised national authority on the treatment of spinal oncology
  • 2006-11 Foundation Tutor Spinal Surgery Royal College of Surgeons of England 

Alistair introduced courses teaching Spinal Assessment, Management and Surgery from introductory level to Masterclass level for consultants

2010-2018 Alistair was a member of, and a lead contributor to the Department of Health Spinal Taskforce reports (2010,2013), and the National Low Back and Radicular Pain Pathway (2013, 2017).

2015-18 Chair of the United Kingdom Spinal Societies Board (UKSSB) coordinating the collaborative energies and efforts of the now five national spinal constituent societies (BASS, BSS, SBPR, BASCIS, NBP-CN), and led organisation of BritSpine in 2002, 2016, 2018.

Year qualified: