Few orthopedic procedures are considered essential, according to GlobalData, and it could take a year before many procedures return to pre-COVID-19 volume.
Five key points from the analysis:
1. Around 83.5 percent of orthopedic surgeries have been delayed during the pandemic because they are not deemed essential and can be delayed or postponed.
2. The 16.5 percent of orthopedic procedures considered essential during the pandemic include orthopedic trauma, amputations and oncologic procedures. Dislocations and fractures are only performed in urgent cases.
3. The top 10 orthopedic procedures, including total joint replacements and spinal fusions, account for 62.5 percent of orthopedic surgery volume. Most of these procedures were delayed because while the conditions they treat are painful, they are not life-threatening.
4. Some procedures that became essential, including for ACL tears, acute traumatic rotator cuff tears and other fractures, were performed in outpatient settings.
5. GlobalData estimates that total knee replacements will resume by mid-June in all states, if they have not already, as the number of COVID-19 cases decreases.
"It will likely take at least one year for procedure numbers to return to pre-COVID-19 levels," said Eric Chapman, medical devices analyst at GlobalData. "Medical centers should organize staff and resources to prepare for an influx of patients."
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