SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Orthopedic Institute in Sioux Falls says fewer people have been seeking care for orthopedic issues. They say if you’re in pain, waiting to get help could cause more damage.
With fears of getting sick and confusion about what health issues can be treated during the pandemic, doctors at the Orthopedic Institute in Sioux Falls say some patients are postponing care.
Dr. David Jones says the facility has remained open throughout the pandemic, helping patients on a case by case basis.
“Obviously injuries, broken bones, torn tendons, those types of injuries don’t stop with people being home in the quarantine,” Jones said.
He says elective surgeries were put on hold over the last few weeks, but are now slowly being rescheduled after Governor Kristi Noem’s back to normal plan was announced.
“Patients at increased medical risk of needing a prolonged hospitalization or intensive care after surgery, those patients we are still having to postpone but we are getting back to a bit more normal type of surgery again,” Jones said.
Dr. Matthew Wingate, a spine surgeon at the Orthopedic Institute says people who are in pain shouldn’t wait to seek help.
“If people have prolonged pressure on their spinal cord or prolonged pressure on the nerves in their back, it can actually lead to permanent damage in the spinal cord or in the nerves in the back,” Wingate said.
And that’s just one example of the various orthopedic issues that he says can lead to permanent damage. To help people decide their plan of care the facility is using telehealth.
“That’s at least a good initial first step so that we can kind of get a preview of what’s going on, if it needs further investigation, then, of course, having them come see us in our office,” Wingate said.
Staff members are wearing masks and they’re screening patients before they even enter the building.
“We’re taking all the necessary precautions to have, to help the patients and their confidence that when they come to Sioux Falls and they come to have care from us that they’re going to be safe,” Wingate said.
If your orthopedic pain doesn’t require surgery, the facility says there are other ways they can provide care during the pandemic.
To contact the Orthopedic Institute, click here.