The coronavirus that causes COVID 19 is a novel RNA virus. It causes a highly contagious respiratory disease in humans. It infects people very easily through respiratory droplets expelled by infected people when they talk, cough or sneeze. Infection can also spread when you touch fomites - contaminated surfaces. Prevention is the best method of coping with the virus.
Some of the recommended practices includei) A mask helps you to keep your mouth and nose covered when you sneeze.
iii) Hand hygiene - frequent hand washing with an alcohol-based sanitizeriv) Avoid touching objects, unless absolutely necessary.
V) Keep away from crowded places especially hotspots. This would mean hospitals too for non-essential consultations. But it may not be always possible as some conditions warrant a visit to your doctor. Most hospitals realize that and have implemented stringent policies and protocols to ensure your safety.
Even in these days of relative inactivity, Bone and Joint problems can significantly affect your daily routine.
Apart from trauma and certain non-traumatic emergencies, degenerative arthritic conditions, spinal disorders, inflammatory arthritis among others require attention to avoid deterioration.
OA is a widely prevalent degenerative joint disease that wears down the protective cartilage between bones. This leads to swelling, pain and stiffness. Unless treated in time, can lead to prolonged pain and immobility
Mobility is life. COVID 19 may have made you homebound for the last 3 months, but that should not prevent you from being mobile. Take your exercises seriously. Prolonged immobility, hormonal changes in females post-menopause can result in loss of bone density and make them vulnerable for fractures. If a consultation is required, make sure you visit your doctor in a safe manner
Inflammatory joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can cause serious and rapid damage to your joints. Active continuation of your treatment is necessary and planned visits to your doctor are mandatory.
Fractures in the elderly
Take fractures in the elderly seriously. Do not neglect them because of COVID 19. These patients often benefit immensely from early interventions which is the key to get them back on their feet.
Safe orthopedic treatment during COVID 19 is a reality
Hospitals have stringent infection control protocols in place at all times. These have been revamped now in accordance with ICMR guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Additional preventive measures practiced include:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided for all members of the team
- Limit in health care personnel to the absolute minimum for both outpatients and inpatient services to minimise contact
- We allow only attender to accompany the patient at all times
- Sanitized ambulance and stretchers for pick up and transport on arrival
- We admit patients only in private rooms to minimize contact and avoid infections.
- Patients are screened for COVID 19 before major interventions in the interest of the patient
- Patients whose COVID 19 status is not known (awaiting results) will be kept at private rooms in a separate zone away from COVID negative or positive patients.
- Proven COVID19 patients will be treated in a negative pressure room that prevents outward airflow and thus avoids contamination or spread
- Telemedicine facility is available for screening and post-procedure consultation and counselling
So, please don’t add up your musculoskeletal problems to the growing list of concerns during this pandemic. Consult our Orthopedist with confidence and have perfect control over your bones and joints.
- Dr. Ashok S. Gavaskar, MBBS, MS (Ortho), FRCS (Glasg), FACS, Clinical Lead - Orthopaedics, Head - Joint Replacement Services, Arthroplasty (Joint Replacement), Orthopaedics, Orthopaedics Trauma, Dr.Rela Institute & Medical Centre, Chennai