Proliance Orthopedic Associates

Returning to Elective Joint Replacement Surgery after a Pandemic

As the curve of COVID-19 cases starts to flatten, surgeons, patients, and facilities are making plans to resume hip and knee replacement surgery.

First and foremost we want to protect our patients and healthcare providers while tending to our patients with painful joints. How we make this transition from no elective surgery to "business as usual" will be a challenge. Depending on the state of the pandemic in any location, plans may vary. In the next week we will start seeing patients for pre-op visits to get this process started. There are several moving parts including pre-op medical clearances, labs, insurance authorization among others. We plan on having COVID-19 testing for all elective patients prior to surgery to confirm the patients are negative.

Our hospital has adopted a policy of all healthcare workers having masks and encouraging all patients to wear a mask. There will be some limitation on folks bringing and picking up patients after surgery. Instead of going to the waiting room to meet family members/significant others/ friends after surgery, that task for the short run may be done over the phone to encourage social distancing.

After surgery, the Joint Center (which has moved to the 7th floor of the VMC south tower) will look very similar to before the pandemic but, for now, visitors will only come up to get instructions for discharge prior to the patient going home.

The same great nursing and therapy care will continue. For knee replacements, post-op outpatient physical therapy will continue with social distancing. The actual surgery remains unchanged for hip and knee replacement.

We look forward to once again caring for our patients with end stage hip and knee arthritis. We are all in this together and with team work we can return to a "new normal" over time. I would like to thank everyone in healthcare who have risen to the task at hand and helped the world deal with this crisis.