SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Minnesota man needing orthopedic care was forced to find a different way to get help due to the Pandemic.
While Ryan Guggisberg doesn’t have COVID-19, the St. Paul, Minnesota man’s health has been impacted by the pandemic.
He’s dealt with lower back pain for several years, and in March the pain became so severe he was bedridden.
“Shortly thereafter, Minnesota went into a shelter in place. And even though I was to the point of needing surgery, we no longer could get that done,” Guggisberg said.
With his pain only getting worse, a friend suggested he look for treatment elsewhere.
“We started looking around and we quickly fell on Dr. Wingate at Orthopedic Institute as a good place to go. And so, really that’s really where kind of… the success story starts,” Guggisberg said.
“When I heard his symptoms, I was concerned that he was having pretty severe radicular pain or sciatica of pain. And if that wasn’t relieved, that could cause permanent damage,” Dr. Matthew Wingate said.
Dr. Matthew Wingate, an orthopedic spine surgeon, determined Guggisberg’s surgery was essential to prevent permanent weakness in his ankle.
Now, about a month after his surgery he says he can’t imagine what it would be like without it.
“I think it was last week. They started opening for elective surgeries in Minnesota. I would very likely be on a long list, a waiting list in order to get that. It’s really unbearable to think that I would be waiting until now,” Guggisberg said.
With the Orthopedic Institute implementing extra safety precautions, Wingate hopes others who are in pain won’t wait to reach out for help.
“We’re taking the precautions that we need to in our clinic and at the hospital to keep patients safe and that we’re ready and willing to help,” Wingate said.
“You can get yourself taken care of. Four hours away just as well as if you were 4 minutes away,” Guggisberg said.
The Orthopedic Institute is also using telehealth to talk with patients and determine if an in-person visit is necessary.