Muscle, bone and joint problems might have seemed less important lately — you may have even had an appointment or procedure rescheduled — but your whole health and mobility matters just as much now as it ever has.
We’re here to serve all your health care needs safely, and we want to assure you that we’ve taken extra safety measures when you get in-person care. In some cases, you’ll need care that can only be provided in person. We understand if you have questions about coming in for a visit or procedure. Your health is our priority — that’s why we’ve put several new procedures and policies in place.
We’re Stepping Up Our Protection Efforts
You’ll notice these changes from the minute you arrive — or even beforehand. They include:
Temperature Checks Before You Enter
Though there are many symptoms of COVID-19, most people who are sick have a fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So, you will receive a temperature check before you walk in the door.
Your physician is also required to have their temperature checked. You can feel confident knowing everyone in the clinic, office or hospital has been screened for potential infection.
Social Distancing in Waiting Areas
We know you’ve been doing your best to stay 6 feet away from others. We want you to be able to continue to practice social distancing.
We’ve redesigned our waiting rooms so there’s ample space to keep 6 feet apart. At some facilities, you’ll be able to wait in your car for a text message. You might also see screens or other barriers at the registration desk.
Updated Visitor Policy
We’re also limiting the number of visitors to one per patient, in many facilities. With fewer people present, everyone can keep the appropriate distance.
Separate Space for Patients With COVID-19
If you don’t have coronavirus or symptoms of COVID-19, you’ll receive care in a different area, separate from the space designated for those who do.
Face Masks for Everyone
The CDC advises everyone should wear face coverings in public to reduce the spread of coronavirus. We’ll give you a mask to wear when you arrive.Your health care team will also wear their personal protective equipment.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding in wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and undergoing temperature checks. You’re helping us protect and keep you, your family and others safe.
Don’t Delay Important Treatments
During a phone or video visit, your physician can also discuss whether it’s best to come in for a consultation or treatment.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, some situations in which you might need urgent or emergency procedures include ruptured tendons, displaced fractures or disk problems that result in numbness.
There may be other reasons your doctor thinks now is the right time for you to come in, whether it’s a sprain that needs urgent attention or you’ve reached the point where pain, swelling and stiffness from arthritis means you need a new knee or hip.
In some cases, delaying surgery or other treatments may cause problems, such as:
- Difficulty in returning to work or resuming your normal activities
- Increased pain or problems functioning
- Neurological issues
If you do need surgery or another procedure, your physician will make sure you are protected from coronavirus throughout the process.
Get Fast Care When You Need It
For problems that can’t wait for your physician’s office, our Centra Care clinics are open for you seven days a week — some with late-night hours. There, you can receive urgent care for non-life-threatening injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Cuts, including those that need stitches
- General pain and numbness
- Joint swelling
- Sprains and strains
When to Go to the ER
Of course, if you have an orthopedic emergency, the ER is open for you, 24/7. Go to the ER for:
- Complicated fractures, meaning those that also involve veins, arteries, nerves or other structures
- Deep wounds
- Major head injuries
Wherever you seek care, know that we’re taking all the same precautions to protect you and keep you safe from coronavirus, including temperature checks and social distancing. If you are experiencing shortness of breath or signs of a stroke or heart attack, but call 911 immediately.
Talk to Your Doctor
Whether you had a procedure postponed, have an ongoing joint or bone issue, or notice a new symptom, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. You can call your existing physician or specialist or find a new one.
Your provider may be able to offer some advice and information over the phone. In other cases, you can schedule a video visit. Your provider may be able to virtually:
- Check your gait, strength and range of motion
- Examine swollen joints or open wounds
- Talk with you about your symptoms, medications and other aspects of your treatment plan
- Answer questions and offer you guidance and reassurance
Manage Pain Between Visits
Even if you decide not to have surgery right now — or it’s not an option for your condition — talking with your doctor can speed your pathway to relief. Ask about ways to manage your condition at home, including:
- Applying ice or heat to aching joints
- Avoiding activities that cause pain or instability
- Doing exercises recommended by your physician or physical therapist
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers
- Wearing braces or other stabilizing devices
We’re Ready When You’re Ready
When it comes to meeting your health care needs, we’re ready to care for you safely in person, when you’re ready. To learn more or schedule an appointment, get more details about orthopedic care at AdventHealth.