Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on orthopedic practice-Results of a survey from a Covid hotspot in India

Thirunarayanan V, Cheralathan S and Harish T

Introduction: COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected medical practice including the specialty of Orthopedics. This study aims to analyze and quantify its actual impact on practice amongst the orthopedic Surgeons in Chennai. Materials and Methods: We did an online survey among the practicing orthopedic surgeons in Chennai. A questionnaire to assess pre-COVID and post-COVID quantum of practice, with a time frame between 23rd of March 2020 and 31st of May 2020, was done and analyzed. Results: 101 orthopedic surgeons participated in this survey with a response rate of 15%. Senior surgeons comprised the major share-45.5% of the participants of this survey. Among the surgeons who participated in the survey, 49.5% of them declared that their Outpatient practice during this pandemic dropped by more than 75%. The percentage of surgeons who operated <5 cases per week before pandemic was 39.4%, which rose to 94.1% during the pandemic. Though 76.2% of the surgeons continued to attend trauma cases during the pandemic with risk involved none of the surgeons became COVID positive during study period. Discussion: Chennai became a COVID-19 hotspot and its impact was evident in various spheres of orthopedic practice. Health manpower management underwent drastic change to adapt to the new challenges put forth. Injury and orthopedic case demographics had a major shift towards domestic injuries and geriatric health care seekers approaching hospitals. RTA’s reduced in number. OP and OR case volume during pandemic were reduced significantly in comparison to pre-COVID times showing the quantum of COVID-19 impact.