Orthopedic surgeons resume elective procedures as coronavirus restrictions ease

Grand Strand

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – As more coronavirus restrictions are eased in South Carolina, some doctors like orthopedic surgeons are able to perform more non-emergency procedures.

COVID-19 screening has become routine at Conway Medical Center for every patient, visitor and employee before entering the building. Temperatures are taken and questions are asked about any symptoms or travel history to potential hotspots.

The part of the center that’s home to OrthoSC is not for treating the coronavirus, but ailments like broken bones, arthritis and sports injuries.

“We want patients to understand that here at OrthoSC, we’re doing everything that we can to ensure our patients’ safety,” said Dr. Todd Tupis, an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoSC.

There are also OrthoSC locations in Carolina Forest and Murrells Inlet. In addition to coronavirus screenings, patients are also given a care bag with a face mask in it. OrthoSC is also taking extra steps to sanitize as much as possible and only one person is in the waiting room at a time, unless accompanied by someone like a parent or caregiver.

Dr. Tupis says while the offices never completely closed, many patients stayed away for about four weeks. As more places in the state reopen, many are starting to return to OrthoSC already.

He also says this helps keep them away from potential exposure to the coronavirus.

“We’re even to the point now where we’re offering urgent visits or same-day appointments, trying to limit patients from having to go to the emergency room,” Dr. Tupis said.

Another big step is that OrthoSC has resumed elective surgeries that don’t require someone to stay overnight.

“Arthroscopic knee or shoulder surgery, foot and ankle surgery,” said Dr. Tupis. “Obviously, we’ve been doing more of the urgent cases like broken bones and torn ligaments, but we’re up to now even doing hip and knee replacements.”

Dr. Tupis also says with patients from young athletes to elderly people, it’s important to get them treatment, no matter the injury.

“During a pandemic like this, stress certainly plays a big role in people’s perception of pain, so we’re do everything we can to try to help them out,” he said.

OrthoSC is also offering telemedicine, so anyone who wants something like bone, joint or muscle discomfort checked can have a doctor look at it virtually.

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