We have all been receiving multiple notifications and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. There are more confirmed cases, school systems are closed and concerns regarding infrastructure, ICU beds, emergency room and hospital personnel exposure, and recent more restrictive bans on gathering sizes and nursing home visitation. The CDC recommends rescheduling non-urgent outpatient visits as necessary.
Current efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus include social distancing and quarantine restrictions as necessary depending on exposure, risk, symptoms, and testing. Testing still lags behind and hopefully continues to improve. As physicians we need to continue to be prudent, compassionate, lead by example, and be guided by science. We collectively need to practice improved health hygiene going forward and limit the spread not only of this virus, but other innumerable transmissible diseases in our society.
Our Executive Director Babette Grey is continuing to actively monitor the MSSNY website, New York State Department of Health, CDC, and other resources daily. She and the board are a resource and are here to help as needed. > Access the resource page
Protecting our patients, staff and visitors continues to be of the utmost importance. My private single specialty orthopaedic practice, physical therapy, imaging and ASC process more than 1000 patients per day. Instituting social distancing earlier has been shown to save lives. Many of our patient population falls into a vulnerable category and much of the work we do is elective. We currently are seeing urgent patients and keeping our open access clinic for fractures open to help offload the emergency rooms with screening of patients and discouraging non--urgent office visits. That being said, we are still having patients in the elderly group trying to walk in to get a cortisone shot in the knee and other nonessential visits as today I have seen patients with arthritic knees and pain since July and an elbow problem since July despite discouraging those visits. This is one of the problems unless people completely shut down.
On behalf of the NYSSOS Board, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families, patients, staff, facilities and your communities. We are continuing to work for the orthopaedic surgeons of the state of New York and nationally to be able to continue to improve the ability to take care of musculoskeletal problems for our patients. Please reach out to us if we can be of assistance or a resource.
James Slough, MD FAAOS