Couple Stretching
May 5, 2020 | by David A. Ibrahim MD

Joint Replacement Care During COVID-19

Our orthopedic surgeons can now see orthopedic patients – new or established—using telehealth. During a video or audio visit, we can discuss your symptoms and develop a long-term diagnostic and treatment plan to manage any mobility issues or joint pain.

A telehealth visit allows us to start (or continue) the discussion on how best to proceed with managing your joint pain. Often times, much of the non-operative management that we would normally discuss in the office can be started through a telehealth visit. We use a secure connection and take measures to protect your privacy.

Inevitably, a telehealth visit has its limitations when it comes to addressing orthopedic and joint-related concerns. It is not a perfect substitute for an in-office visit but our patients find the application easy to use and convenient. If we determine that follow-up care should be done in-person we can schedule a visit now or in the next few weeks, depending on the urgency of the matter.

What to Know Before Your Telehealth Joint Replacement Visit

Equipment for the Visit

You will need a cell phone, tablet or computer with a camera and microphone that allows you to video chat, along with high speed internet access. It is best to use a cell phone or tablet so that there can be a greater degree of interaction during the telehealth visit. We also ask that you create a MyChart account.

Plan ahead

  • Set up the device set in a room where you can move around. This will allow for an examination of the joint and a better assessment of your orthopedic problem.
  • Ask a trusted friend or family member to attend if possible. They can operate the camera when needed during the visit. Additionally, they can get their questions answered during the visit. If there is nobody available to assist during your visit, an alternative is to set up your device on a sturdy surface while still allowing a clear view of your extremity.
  • Fill out a health questionnaire and return prior to the visit. The purpose of this questionnaire is to ensure that we have a complete picture of your health and can provide you with the best recommendations for your joint pain.
  • Obtain imaging needed prior to the telehealth visit. As part of routine orthopedic evaluation, X-rays are necessary to better evaluate your joint pain. To minimize exposure and ensure your safety, this is arranged at a time of your choosing before our visit. Our X-ray technicians will obtain the X-rays quickly and efficiently so that you spend minimal time at the clinic.

Ultimately, if we decide you are a candidate for a partial/total joint replacement, we will schedule an in-office visit for a detailed examination before surgery.

Resources Available

The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) has published very useful information and videos online regarding joint replacement surgery. Additional information for joint replacement is available from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Scheduling an Orthopedics Appointment

The Polyclinic is planning now for our return to offering more onsite services including elective surgeries and joint replacements, which will occur in mid-May, following public health recommendations. In the meantime, call 206-860-5578 to schedule an appointment. If needed, our staff can help answer your questions about telehealth.

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