Health care providers have a warning about putting off help for pain during pandemic
Monday, December 7, 2020

 A word of caution from local doctors about taking care of you in this pandemic: Many people who delay care due to COVID-19 may be limiting future options.

If you’re putting off a procedure that could help you reduce pain or get back on your feet fast, surgeons at OrthoCincy have a warning about it.

“We used to say go as long as you can,” said Dr. Matt Hummel, an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoCincy. “An older thinking when we had one knee design. Now, you’re right. The more damage you do, you may lose certain options, which can constrain options. In other words, the more natural fit options, you may not be able to do if you’ve done too much damage to your knee before you come in.”

At St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Edgewood, Dr. Hummel of OrthoCincy is one of the leading surgeons in the country for robotic knee surgery.

“It’s the Mako Robotic System. A precision instrument that allows us to better dial in the actual mechanics of the knee during surgery,” said Dr. Hummel.

The system allows him to make what is sort of like a precise flight plan ahead of this surgery. The robot then assists him in sticking to it.

The end result is, “What we hope is a better fit, better function and better longevity,” said Dr. Hummel.

His word of advice right now if you’re having pain, especially joint pain, is to at least set up a consult with a surgeon.

“It really adds a level of reproducibility and precision that’s unheard of in this surgery,” he said.

If you wait too long, you may not have all the options you do when you’ve had less deterioration of the joint.

As for your concerns about COVID-19, every patient is tested prior to surgery. They do have adequate personal protective gear.

“I think with the precautions we are taking with COVID, at least in the current environment, we are doing a very good job protecting our patients, yes,” Dr. Hummel said.