There is a lot of concern about the current situation with the surge in COVID-19 infection, in particular for people who need to attend hospital, or who may be considering surgical treatment. It does look like the outbreak is starting to come under control and there is a hope that the vaccination programme will allow life to return to normality over the next few months, but it is likely that things will never be quite the same again.
During the first lockdown, private hospitals were contracted to the NHS to help with some of the workload, in particular with urgent surgery, including cancer. At the moment most private hospitals are not doing planned hip and knee replacement surgery; some Central London hospitals, including BUPA Cromwell are still doing private hip and knee surgery, alongside urgent NHS cancer work. It is likely to be the Spring before other private hospitals resume non-urgent surgery, so capacity for surgery in the private sector remains limited.
Hip and knee clinic consultations
Mr Bridle is still seeing patients in clinic, with very stringent measures in place to ensure a COVID-free environment. We are seeing patients face-to-face where necessary, but many appointments are being conducted remotely, especially for follow up appointments, to minimise footfall through the hospital. This has proved a very good arrangement for patients and specialists and it is likely that far more appointments will be conducted in this way in the future.
The vaccine has given hope that COVID will in due course become a thing of the past. Patients have lot of questions around undergoing treatment and vaccination.
- Steroid injections are often used to treat painful joints. Patients should not have a steroid injection for two weeks before and two weeks after having the COVID vaccination
- Steroid injections may increase the risk of being badly affected by COVID; this will be discussed with patients before they have injections. The risks are likely to be very low
- Patients should not undergo major surgery for two weeks before or two weeks after the vaccination
- It is very important to stress that vaccination is the priority above almost any other treatment which may be required and if patients are offered the vaccine they should have it
For more advice on the current situation and how it might affect your hip or knee treatment, call 020 8947 9524 to arrange a consultation with Mr Simon Bridle.