Staying Healthy in 2021 – Sports Medicine Weekly Podcast & Blog | Dr. Brian J. Cole
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Practice Policy Update regarding COVID-19

Published on: 28-Jan-2021

With 2020 behind us and the COVID vaccine rolling out, we are all looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel—and to a brighter 2021. The virus has changed many things in our lives. However, the steps you have taken to mitigate the spread of the virus should not delay needed health care for you or your loved ones.

Perhaps you have put off taking care of shoulder, knee, or hip pain this past year. Or maybe you have decided to postpone spine surgery until after the pandemic. With fitness facilities closed or at limited capacity, perhaps you have opted to ignore nagging hand, wrist, foot, or ankle conditions. Sound familiar?

Don’t Delay Treatment

“The urge to ‘push things down the road’ during this difficult time is understandable,” says Dr. Gregory Nicholson, MOR shoulder and elbow surgeon. “However, neglecting medical and surgical issues can lead to serious consequences.”

Delaying surgery could make a simple condition much worse with time and more difficult to fix. Recovery time could be longer, therapy more extensive, and getting back to full mobility could be more difficult. Even something like an ankle sprain if not treated promptly can lead to long-term pain and disability. Some overuse conditions such as tendonitis can sometimes heal on their own, but for a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome, delaying care can weaken the hand permanently and cause a loss of neurological function. Something like a rotator cuff tear left untreated can cause the tendon to retract, making a repair more difficult and more at risk for re-injury.

“While we do not encourage people to rush into surgery, it is wise to act before becoming too disabled,” explains Dr. Brett Levine, MOR joint replacement surgeon.

Feel Great by Spring

With roughly three months until warmer weather in Chicago, MOR physicians and physical therapists want to encourage you to commit to the necessary steps to eliminate your pain in 2021. These next few months may be just what you need to address your condition to be ready for golf, tennis, or just walking around your neighborhood.

“Usually, the recovery from a knee or hip replacement takes about 6-12 weeks,” explains Dr. Brett Levine, MOR joint replacement surgeon. “Winter surgery means you will be ready to play your favorite outdoor sport or activity when the spring weather comes around.”

And, with minimally invasive techniques, your recovery can be quicker than ever before.

“I have been a physical therapist for 24 years and I’m seeing knee replacement and hip replacement patients return to function so much quicker than when I first started practicing,” says MOR’s Tracy Labahn. “Patients are even returning to some activities they never dreamed of doing again. Just this year, I had a patient with two knee replacements who said he thought he might play volleyball again when he had decided that part of his life was over. Patients are getting the therapy they need much quicker and are not having the complications they once had with stiffness and pain.”

Safety is Top Priority

MOR has been adhering to stringent COVID protocols in its clinics, offices, and operating rooms since the start of the pandemic. We are confident that your orthopedic issues can be treated safely, effectively, and in a timely manner.

“Be assured that, as we all come through this together, you can walk, swim, swing, run, jump, and dance where and when you want and need to,” says Dr. Nicholson.


Please commit to a happy, healthy 2021 for yourself. Contact us to schedule a convenient consultation at any of our six orthopedic clinics throughout the Chicago area at 877-MD-BONES or request an appointment here.

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