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Managing orthopaedic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic

As hospitals continue to limit patients seeking non-urgent treatment, many of you may be left wondering what you can do to manage joint pain or another orthopaedic condition while adhering to government guidance. Our expert surgeons have answered some common questions below, outlining several options for orthopaedic treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

What if I have a sports injury or arthritis?

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented pressures on the NHS. Many private hospitals have offered their beds and services in order to assist in the fight against the pandemic. As a result, elective orthopaedic surgeries for common conditions like arthritis or sports injuries are being suspended in order to maximise the use of these resources.

Non-urgent consultations are still going ahead and can be held by phone or on video consultation platforms while face-to-face consultations are only taking place only when absolutely necessary. Should it be determined that you need to have a face-to-face consultation, social distancing measures will be followed and it is likely you will not be allowed to have a visitor attend the appointment with you. For the latest updates from each hospital, our surgeons hold outpatient clinics at, please visit our COVID-19 Update here.

There may also be some non-surgical treatment options that could help you during this time, such as physiotherapy, bracing/supports, or biological joint injections. Find out more about these options below which can be discussed with your surgeon.

What if I think I may have a fracture or other acute orthopaedic injury?

An urgent acute injury such as a fall, fracture or dislocation, should still be assessed and treated by a specialist surgeon as soon as possible. Given the current pressure on resources in the NHS, the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA) has issued guidance on how these injuries should be managed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, there will be an increased emphasis on managing injuries with non-operative treatment options and minimising outpatient visits. There will also be an increased emphasis on reducing hospital admissions and minimising the length of stay. Each case will be assessed individually, and recommendations for treatment will be determined using the latest guidance available.

All surgeons at Total Orthopaedics are responding to the current situation and adhering to published guidance. Where necessary, we can provide face-to-face assessments and when it is determined as necessary, surgical treatments of these injuries. Where possible, non-surgical treatment options will be recommended.

What non-surgical treatment options do I have during the pandemic?

Depending on the nature of your injury, condition and/or pain levels, you may be able to utilise non-surgical treatment options during the pandemic. Some of these options could include physiotherapy, braces/supports, and biological joint injections.


We work with several physiotherapists who can provide video consultations alongside our surgeons. An initial video consultation should be held with one of our surgeons first, to determine if physiotherapy would be recommended for you.

Bracing and Supports

There may be instances where a medical brace or support could help manage your pain if surgery is not an option for you. Following a phone or video consultation, our surgeons can discuss if a brace or support option can be recommended. The brace/support can be delivered by post and can then be fitted at home by yourself or with assistance by video consultation (if required).

Non-steroid Injections

The latest guidance says that non-steroid injections are considered to be a safer treatment option during the current pandemic. When deemed necessary, our surgeons can offer several different types of biological joint injections (which do not contain steroids). These injections can be administered during an outpatient appointment.

Will my insurance cover the cost of consultations and treatments during the pandemic?

Yes, most insurers are covering the cost of video consultations, some non-surgical treatment options and surgical interventions (when deemed medically necessary at this point in time). As with any consultation or treatment, we recommend that you contact your insurer to confirm coverage, prior to booking.

For more information about your treatment options during the COVID-19 pandemic or to book a consultation, please contact us.

Mr Simon Mellor

Mr Simon Mellor is the Lead for the Hip and Knee Unit at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and he has worked in Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery since 1996. He is one of the UK’s most prominent Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Surgeons, having utilised this muscle-sparing technique for hip replacements since 2012.

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