Study: Halting in-person postoperative visits due to Covid-19 did not affect knee replacement outcomes
News-Medical.net reports on a study by HSS hip and knee surgeon Geoffrey H. Westrich, MD, and colleagues that set out to assess the impact of halting in-person postoperative visits after knee replacement surgery in March 2020 due to COVID-19. They found that replacing in-person visits with telehealth and telerehabilitation services did not lead to a higher complication rate, nor did it affect patient-reported outcomes after surgery.
Elective, nonessential orthopedic care, including in-person office visits and physical therapy, was halted on March 16, 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 surge in New York City. At that time, HSS rapidly expanded its telehealth and telerehabilitation services so patients could receive their care, including post-operative visits and physical therapy, remotely. Dr. Westrich and colleagues set out to evaluate the impact on complication rates during the first 90 days following knee replacement and patient-reported outcomes within one year of surgery.
"In our study, reduced access to in-person care and an increased reliance on remote patient monitoring and telehealth had no major consequences on clinical outcomes for knee replacement patients," Dr. Westrich noted. "It may be appropriate to rethink the importance of in-person follow-up, which may not always be needed. Additional research involving more patients and longer-term outcomes would be essential to confirm our findings."
Read the full article at News-Medical.net