Helpful Tips for Knee Replacement Patients Delayed by COVID-19

Gregg R. Klein, M.D. April 29th, 2020

Knee pain can be debilitating. Many patients who would otherwise be gearing up for surgery are now home. All elective surgery has been postponed by state governors. Although knee replacement is considered an important procedure to resolve the pain of knee arthritis and improve patient’s quality of life, it is still considered an elective procedure.  

Cancellation of surgery has been necessary to ensure the safety of patient, surgeon and medical staff, as well as, to conserve the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). Hopefully, the pandemic and the number of infected persons will decrease, and the governors will lift the surgery restrictions.

End stage knee arthritis is painful and a source of anxiety for people suffering. Although there are no true ways to cure knee arthritis, there are some ways to improve the symptoms. 

Here are some tips or techniques that can be used to temporize your symptoms during quarantine.

  1. Virtual VisitSchedule a virtual visit with your surgeon. During this visit you can discuss your symptoms and treatment options until surgery can occur—all from the comfort and safety of your home.
  2. Home exercise program – A home exercise program can theoretically relieve some of the symptoms related to knee arthritis. This information can be obtained by making a Virtual Visit or contacting your physician via the Patient Portal.
  3. Virtual physical therapy – A more formal physical therapy program can be done virtually with a physical therapist. Either schedule a virtual visit with your surgeon to discuss or send a message via the Patient Portal regarding a referral for physical therapy.
  4. Activity modification – Prevent injury by avoiding precarious situations that could worsen your pain or symptoms.
  5. Weight control – Eat healthy and control your weight. If you’d like to consult with one of our registered dietitians through a virtual visit, submit a request here.
  6. NSAIDS – Anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve some of the symptoms of knee arthritis. These can be taken over the counter or prescribed by your physician.
  7. Braces – Knee braces/sleeves can be used to help lessen the symptoms of knee arthritis. 
  8. Injections – Injections of a steroid (cortisone) or viscosupplementation (gel) can be helpful in decreasing some of the symptoms related to knee arthritis. Please note, you would need to wait at least three month after an injection before you would be able to have surgery. 

These are unusual times, but the restrictions will not last forever. We are closely monitoring state mandates for guidance as to when we can safely reopen our doors. The best medicine right now is to stay home, stay safe and connect with your physician via a virtual visit. To schedule a virtual visit, click here.

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