Because of the current pandemic, there has been a large shift to remote interactions. From remote work to virtual doctor appointments, many social interactions can now be done virtually.
However, not all appointments can be conducted virtually, and orthopedic surgery is one of those situations that must be done in-person.
Here at LA Orthopaedic Specialists, our team of providers continue to provide the comprehensive orthopedic care that you can depend on -- from hip procedures to surgery to treat a musculoskeletal injury.
We know you have concerns and questions about surgery during the pandemic. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you understand everything you need to know about orthopedic surgery during this time.
Is orthopedic surgery essential?
Although you might not think of orthopedic surgery as essential, many orthopedic surgeries are not elective.
This includes surgeries to address:
- Orthopedic injuries from a trauma or accident
- Open, compound fractures
- Crush injuries (such as compression fractures)
These types of orthopedic surgeries were never stopped during the pandemic.
But what about elective surgeries?
Health care facilities that were closed during the quarantine were reopened on May 26 as part of California’s Roadmap to Recovery. What does this mean? It means that elective surgeries can be scheduled now in southern California.
If you’re feeling apprehensive about scheduling an elective surgery during the pandemic, you aren’t alone. According to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, about 34% of patients have postponed an orthopedic surgery because of concerns about COVID-19.
However, postponing an elective surgery for too long can create unwanted complications. For example, if you delay a surgery for carpal tunnel for too long, you increase your risk of developing permanent damage.
The good news is that we’re doing all we can to promote a safe environment for you and for our staff too.
Orthopedic surgery: What we’re doing to keep you safe
Because coronavirus is a new virus, researchers are still compiling data about the virus and COVID-19, the disease it causes. The Journal of Orthopedics published an article in May 2020 to establish guidelines for orthopedic surgery amidst the pandemic.
Orthopedic measures in place include:
- Scheduling orthopedic surgeries according to their priority level
- Protecting health care workers (the use of masks, increased PPE, regularly using hand sanitizer with at least 70% ethanol alcohol)
- Allocate resourcing (when possible) to disease control
- Increasing the time between patients arriving for follow-ups (to limit the number of individuals in the office at one time)
- More frequent disinfecting of the office and waiting rooms, etc.
Additionally, we ask that anyone who is ill or has been potentially exposed to the coronavirus reschedule appointments. We’ll be happy to reschedule once you’re better.
What you need to know about pre-op procedures
Hospitals across the country -- and here in California -- are including COVID-19 testing and symptom screening as part of pre-op workups. You’ll always need pre-op workups before any surgery, and the addition of COVID-19 tests and screenings are important to keep you and the hospital staff healthy.
What if your pre-op test is positive? The CDC recommends that anyone whose test is positive postpone his or her surgery until after all symptoms disappear -- and they have two negative tests.
Are you ready to schedule your orthopedic surgery?
We know that we’re living in unprecedented times, but we’re on a mission to help you get the orthopedic care you need — in a safe environment.
If you have questions about your upcoming orthopedic surgery, give our Los Angeles, California clinic a call at 213-455-8448. You can also request an appointment online by clicking “Book Now”.