Most surgical care was suspended during the COVID-19 viral pandemic to permit hospital resources to be saved for critically ill COVID-19 patients. As the number and severity of these initial COVID-19 patients decrease, elective surgery will resume slowly in hospitals and surgery centers based upon improving safety in the community.
Hinsdale Orthopaedics (HOA) will resume procedures effective, Monday, May 11th. Due to the volume of rescheduled procedures, our staff will be reaching out to patients on an individual basis to discuss rescheduling options.
Because there is now a 2-month backlog of surgical cases, prioritization will be given to the more urgent types of surgeries and procedures. The most critical cases will be done first, but there is a goal of reducing the entire backlog of cases as quickly as possible.
Priority for your surgery will be based upon answers to several questions:
- How long have you been waiting?
- Will the outcome of your surgery be affected if your surgery is delayed further?
- Are all the resources needed for your surgery and recovery now available?
- How risky is it for you to have surgery now with the current amount of COVID-19 illness in your community?
Orthopedic Surgery Prioritization
A formal surgical case prioritization system has been created to assist hospitals and surgeons who are making these important decisions fairly and consistently. This information is provided to you to help you understand why some patients are being chosen first and others are asked to wait – as the backlog is reduced.
- Emergent orthopedic surgeriesinclude bad fractures (like a hip fracture), most infections and nearly all lacerations where there is injury to tendons, muscles or joints for immediate surgical treatment is important to prevent a poor recovery and outcome.
- Essential orthopedic surgeries include less critical joint injuries (like ACL tears with meniscal injury), tendon injuries (like large rotator cuff tears) and spine conditions (like a herniated disc with nerve symptoms) – all where early treatment is important, but can often be delayed days or a few weeks.
- Elective orthopedic surgeries include many common more chronic orthopedic conditions such as arthritis of the knee, hip and shoulder (like total hip, knee and shoulder replacements) and arthritis of the spine (like spine injections or spine fusion) where the condition has been present for often years and delay of treatment does not usually have an impact on the quality of the result.
We realize that this may be frustrating or painful for those patients who have been waiting for some time for their surgical care. Please understand that your Hinsdale Orthopaedic surgeon will try to get the surgery done as quickly as possible – but also as safely as possible during this COVID-19 viral pandemic.
Under continued direction of IDPH, all scheduled surgical patients must adhere to newly established pre-operative guidelines.
- All patients planning surgery will be asked to follow: 10 Things We Do to Prevent COVID-19 carefully, at ALL times, but particularly for the 2 weeks prior to your surgery;
- During the two weeks prior to surgery, ALL surgical patients will be asked to take your temperature twice a day – morning and night. If you have a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees or any COVID-19 symptoms such as: chills, being tired, sore throat, dry cough, muscle aches and pain or recent loss of taste and smell – call your surgeon’s office;
- All patients scheduled for surgery and procedures must be tested pre-op for COVID-19 with nasal-pharyngeal swab PCR test within 72 hrs. prior to your surgery. This test will be scheduled at the hospital, a near-by testing center or an HOA Pre-op Test site;
- Your surgeon/proceduralist will be responsible to communicate the test result to you;
- For your safety, your surgery/procedure will likely be rescheduled if the COVID-19 test is (+);
- All patients must self-isolate at home from the time of your test until your scheduled surgery/procedure – to prevent an exposure that may harm your surgical result as you recover.
Post- Operative Care
Hinsdale Orthopaedic surgeons and team members will work closely with each individual patient on a post-surgical care plan. If you have particular concerns regarding post-operative visits, please speak directly with your physician.