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J Orthop Sci. 2021 Apr 17:S0949-2658(21)00092-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jos.2021.02.017. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Elective orthopaedic surgery has been severely curtailed because of coronavirus disease, 2019. There is scant scientific evidence to guide surgeons in assessing the protocols that must be implemented before resuming elective orthopaedic surgery safely after the second wave of the coronavirus disease, 2019.
METHODS: A retrospective review of elective orthopaedic surgeries performed between May 15, 2020, and November 20, 2020, was conducted. A screening questionnaire was used, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 immunoglobulin G and IgM antibodies testing were assessed in all admitted patients. Screening and testing data for coronavirus disease was reviewed for all patients.
RESULTS: Of 592 patients tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 during the study period, 21 (3.5%) tested positive. There were 2 patients (0.3%) with positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests, 3 (0.5%) with positive IgG and IgM antibodies, 13 (2.2%) with positive IgG antibodies, and 10 (1.7%) with positive IgM antibodies. Among these 21 patients, 20 (95.2%) were asymptomatic.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that most elective orthopaedic surgery patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 are asymptomatic. In the second wave of coronavirus disease, 2019, universal testing of all patients should be strongly considered as an important measure to prevent clusters of in-hospital transmission of the disease.