While Elective Surgeries Are Postponed, We Remain Available to Our Patients
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Surgeons recommend that doctors postpone elective surgeries due to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and we are following that guidance strictly. The concern is not that a knee replacement or hip replacement would be more likely to result in complications at this time, but rather that we need to keep hospital resources and medical equipment available for those with the greatest need.
We are still seeing patients in our offices under some circumstances, depending on the urgency of the need or the level of discomfort for a patient. We are following strict protocols, such as cleaning exam rooms thoroughly in between patients, scheduling appointments well apart to keep the waiting room clear, and practicing social distancing where possible.
Our staff and patients are adapting well to telemedicine appointments. We’re able to continue the care of our current patients, while also welcoming new patients. Although it may be several weeks before a new patient can schedule a knee replacement or hip replacement surgery, we can put them on the right path for managing their pain and preparing for surgery. We’re able to take their medical history, understand the issues they are facing and even review X-rays and photos.
For our patients whose previously scheduled surgeries have been postponed, we’re encouraging them to stay active to the point where they are still comfortable. If they have questions regarding pain management or medications, they should contact us.
The future is wildly unpredictable right now, but one option we see becoming available before inpatient surgeries will be outpatient procedures at surgery centers. Most knee replacements and hip replacements require 24 hours or less of recovery in the hospital, with physical therapy beginning within two to three hours after surgery. Research has shown that surgeries are just as safe in these outpatient settings and that satisfaction ratings are higher when patients are able to return home promptly to recuperate there. We will be assessing the suitability of outpatient surgeries as the CDC provides updated recommendations over the coming weeks.
If you have any concerns or questions, we encourage you to contact us at 301-657-9876 for a virtual consultation or to schedule a telemedicine appointment.
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