(The information below is provided by OrthoInfo.Org from the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
The current pandemic has forced orthopedic surgeons and their patients to take protective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Because of this, hospitals have postponed all elective surgeries. This measure helps to ensure that PPE, facility and other resources are available for those doctors who are treating patients who have the virus.
“Elective surgeries are all that are done for a medical condition that is not urgent or life-threatening, says Dr. Vourazeris, Orthopedic Surgeon. "A lot of orthopedic surgeries we conduct at Ortho El Paso fall into this category." While an orthopedic condition may be painful or limit function, it is usually not life-threatening and surgery can be safely postponed.
Orthopedic surgery will be one of the first allowable activities as states open up, so hold strong...we are almost there.
However, any delay in your surgery is painful so what do you do in the meantime to treat your symptoms and get some relief? In many cases, there are some simple non-surgical treatments that can help alleviate painful symptoms until your surgery can be rescheduled. Here is what we suggest:
1. Schedule a consultation with your surgeon.
Be sure to stay in contact with your orthopedic surgeon. You may need to schedule a consultation to work with the surgeon to best manage your issue and pain.
2. Until your surgery can be rescheduled, the following treatments may be helpful:
• REST. Stop or change your activities to avoid doing things that cause painful symptoms. Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity. Rest your injury.
• MEDICATE. Your surgeon can recommend and/or prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to control pain and swelling.
• ICE. Apply either ice (or heat) to the affected joint, whichever is more effective and comfortable for you.
In some situations, an injection of a corticosteroid into the joint can help relieve pain until your surgery can be rescheduled.
Our local hospitals are allowing procedures that need to be done on an emergency basis. Emergency or urgent orthopedic procedures may include:
• Fractures in which the pieces of bone are out of place
• Tendon ruptures
• Open wounds
• Bone tumors
Some of these conditions require that surgery be done right away, others within a few days. Our orthopedic surgeons can advise you as to the best timing of any emergency procedure.
Stay in Contact with Your Surgeon
If you have any questions or problems during the pandemic, it is important to maintain communication with your surgeon. Call Ortho El Paso at 915-249-4000 for an appointment where you can speak to her to ask the questions that are worrying you.
If you are experience medical issues that are not related to your orthopedic injury, please contact your family practice physician.