Arthroplasty During COVID-19: Surveillance of AAHKS Members in the First Year of the Pandemic

Jeffrey B. Stambough, Justin T. Deen, Sharon L. Walton, Joshua M. Kerr, Michael J. Zarski, Adolph J. Yates, John P. Andrawis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the practices of adult reconstruction surgeons, primarily due to the elective nature of hip and knee arthroplasty. Methods: To capture the impact of COVID-19 on its members, the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons sent 6 surveys over a span of 7 months from late March until September of 2020 querying its members regarding the effects of COVID on the health and well-being of their personal, financial, and clinical practice. Results: Ninety-two percent of surgeons reported a cessation of elective inpatient cases during the height of the crisis. The reduction was greatest for surgeries performed in hospital-based sites of care. Ninety-one percent reported a drop in clinic volume. At the final surveys, these numbers where 7% and 59%, respectively. In addition, there was a widespread increase in the use of telemedicine during this period. Only a small number of orthopedic practices permanently closed because of COVID-19; 68% of surgeons, however, sought federal funding to offset their loss of revenue because of the restrictions placed on elective surgeries. Finally, once elective surgeries were reinstated, most surgeons reported no restrictions with surgical cases and that they believed they were adapting to the challenges of COVID successfully. Conclusions: The impact of COVID-19 in 2020 on the practice of arthroplasty resulted in nearly universal loss of volume and significant financial stress. Recovery has been consistent but incomplete for most practices. Continued monitoring of the members of American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons will be needed in 2021 to measure the strength of the demonstrated adaptive recovery of 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalArthroplasty Today
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Arthroplasty
  • CARES Act
  • COVID-19
  • Economic relief
  • Furlough
  • Restrictions
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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