SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The pandemic caused many people to postpone elective surgeries in order to keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed. Now, some have been able to have those surgeries.

Mary Holland found out she needed shoulder surgery in early 2020, but due to the pandemic, her surgery ended up being postponed.

“I was quilting with some ladies at the church and then it got to be where I couldn’t keep my arms up to, or keep them in one position very long before they started to really hurt,” Holland said.

Fortunately, she was able to have her procedure in June, and since then has been attending physical therapy.

Although she’s still healing, she’s thankful to be doing therapy after the pandemic put everything on pause.

“My shoulders were bothering me, so I needed it done. I have grandkids that I want to be able to pick up and hold,” Holland said.

Physical therapist Melissa Sandbulte says being able to allow patients to attend physical therapy is huge– because without it, there could be more issues for a patient down the road.

“For instance shoulder patients, if we don’t start with their passive range of motion early on, we risk, you know, them maybe getting a frozen shoulder and then the long-term deficits are a lot more. They’re huge,” Sandbulte said.

She wants patients to know that many precautions are being taken to avoid the spread of COVID-19, and patient safety is the top priority.

“Prior to COVID we would always clean equipment after each patient used it anyways, but we’re just separating patients out a little bit more for using more of our treatment rooms versus like the open gym space to complete these treatments,” Sandbulte said.

She recommends anyone waiting to deal with pain due to the pandemic to reach out for help, and keep in mind the many precautions being taken.

“Living in pain is, it’s not a good thing. It’s hard on your mental health as well as your physical health. So we’re ready to help you guys out when they need it,” Sandbulte said.

To find out the specific precautions being taken at your facility, call your provider.