Many hospitals and healthcare facilities are delaying elective surgeries and procedures due to COVID-19. It’s important to remember that while your joint surgery may be considered elective, it may also be essential for your mobility and health. Now is the time to schedule your procedure because health insurance deductibles reset in January.
COVID-19 Delays Elective Procedures
The Delta variant has caused millions of medical procedures to be canceled or delayed. Now, with the acute resurgence of COVID-19, hospitals are reallocating resources and delaying elective procedures.
Some common elective orthopedic procedures are:
- Knee replacement
- Hip replacement
- Shoulder replacement
- Joint fusion
- Joint surgery
- Soft tissue repair
The term “elective” does not refer to the importance of the procedure. Instead, it simply distinguishes between surgeries that are for emergencies and those that can be scheduled in advance.
Most joint surgeries are considered elective procedures because you can schedule them for a future date. However, although elective, each of the procedures above is essential for health.
Importance of Prompt Orthopedic Procedures
Joint pain can prevent you from living an active lifestyle and doing the things you love. A canceled or delayed orthopedic procedure means you may experience:
- Stiff and swollen joints
- Sleeplessness at night
- Inability to use stairs
- Limp or change in your gait
- Increased risk of falls or fractures
Consider an Ambulatory Surgery Center for Orthopedic Procedures
Although hospitals have pushed back procedures like total joint replacement and orthopedic surgeries, there is another option. Scheduling your procedure at an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) may be a good choice for several reasons:
- Outpatient surgery centers dedicate themselves to specific procedures rather than emergency or trauma surgeries, so your appointment may be less likely to be affected.
- Because ASCs are small, they are easily navigable and usually have convenient parking.
- Your procedure may be more cost-effective at an ASC.
- Some patients say that ASCs feel more home-like and comfortable than hospitals.
Schedule Your Orthopedic Surgery Before Deductible Resets
Have you met your deductible already? Schedule your procedure before the end of the calendar year to take full advantage of your health plan benefits. Your deductible will reset in January, so contact your insurance company to verify your status. Joint surgery may be less costly than you may think.