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30.04.2020 | COVID-19 | KNEE Zur Zeit gratis

Massive cutback in orthopaedic healthcare services due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Zeitschrift:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Autoren:
M. C. Liebensteiner, I. Khosravi, M. T. Hirschmann, P. R. Heuberer, M. Thaler, The Board of the AGA-Society of Arthroscopy and Joint-Surgery
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00167-020-06032-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Details of the members of The Board of the German-speaking Arthroscopy Society (AGA) is given in "Acknowledgements".

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Purpose

Due to the lack of evidence, it was the aim of the study to investigate current possible cutbacks in orthopaedic healthcare due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic (COVID-19).

Methods

An online survey was performed of orthopaedic surgeons in the German-speaking Arthroscopy Society (Gesellschaft für Arthroskopie und Gelenkchirurgie, AGA). The survey consisted of 20 questions concerning four topics: four questions addressed the origin and surgical experience of the participant, 12 questions dealt with potential cutbacks in orthopaedic healthcare and 4 questions addressed the influence of the pandemic on the particular surgeon.

Results

Of 4234 contacted orthopaedic surgeons, 1399 responded. Regarding arthroscopic procedures between 10 and 30% of the participants stated that these were still being performed—with actual percentages depending on the specific joint and procedure. Only 6.2% of the participants stated that elective total joint arthroplasty was still being performed at their centre. In addition, physical rehabilitation and surgeons’ postoperative follow-ups were severely affected.

Conclusion

Orthopaedic healthcare services in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland are suffering a drastic cutback due to COVID-19. A drastic reduction in arthroscopic procedures like rotator cuff repair and cruciate ligament reconstruction and an almost total shutdown of elective total joint arthroplasty were reported. Long-term consequences cannot be predicted yet. The described disruption in orthopaedic healthcare services has to be viewed as historic.

Level of evidence

V.

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