What COVID-19 Means for Your Care at Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle

We want you to know that Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle is here as we navigate these unprecedented times together. We have modified our clinic structure and workflow to ensure that we can increase care in a manner that promotes optimal public health practices for everyone’s safety.

To Learn more about these current changes, please read the following:

Is the OSS Clinic Open?

Yes, we are open and ready to care & serve our community – we are just operating in a slightly different

What are your Clinic Hours?

We are open Monday – Friday 8:30am-5:00pm in both clinics & Saturdays from 10:00am-5:00pm in our
Wallingford location.

What Services do you Offer at this Time?

We are offering Telemedicine, Regular In-Person Appointments* and Urgent Care services
*Each regular In-Person Appointment will be determined on an individual basis.

For your protection, as well as our staff members, we are actively reducing in-person office visits to decrease the number of people in our clinic at any given time.

How do I Make an Appointment?

Call the office just like you always have 206-633-8100. We will schedule you with the appropriate
provider and the type of visit for your appointment – In-Person or Telemedicine.

In addition, you can choose to go online and make an appointment submittal request. One of our representatives will call to make & confirm the appointment.

Can we come to an In-Person Appointment with the ‘Stay at Home’ order placed by the Governor?

Yes. Provider visits are considered essential by Washington State. We will still need to take care of you and cannot neglect your injury that could possibly lead to a disability, if untreated. We will provide the best possible care and work within our current environment to do so.

Can I be seen by a Provider for an In-person Visit?

That depends. Our providers will make that determination after reviewing the reason for your visit. If the initial review suggests that you do not need to be seen in person, we will contact you to arrange a telemedicine video visit.

Do You Need to Wear a Mask for an In-Person Appointment?

Yes. All patients that come to the office need to bring and wear a mask. This can be a homemade mask, scarf, handkerchief or basically anything coving your mouth and nose. *We are not able to supply masks at this time

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is a technology-enabled face to face encounter with your provider. With Telemedicine, we can do almost everything that we can during an in-person visit, such as prescribe therapy, order advanced imaging, arrange for consultations and prescribe medications.

We use an application called IMyourdoc that enables HIPAA secure communication via an app or website platform. Upon scheduling, you will receive either an email or text link directing you to log-in to the site. From there, our staff will guide you through the process of the visit.

With Telemedicine, we can do almost everything that we can during an in-person visit, except for three things:

1.We cannot take x-rays
2.We cannot physically examine you
3.We cannot perform any procedures like injections, reductions or other minor procedures

Will a Telemedicine Appointment be Appropriate for Everyone?

No. If you have a new injury, we will need to see you in person to safely evaluate your condition. If you just had surgery, we need to see you to check your wound and remove your sutures. We may need to have an x-ray to monitor proper healing of your injury. Your provider will work with you to determine if you need an in-person appointment.

During your telemedicine appointment, your provider will carefully evaluate whether or not you need an in-person visit. If, after your telemedicine appointment, your provider feels you need to be seen in the clinic, we will get you scheduled as soon as possible.

If you need to come to the clinic the day after your telemedicine visit, you will NOT be charged for two office visits. We are here to take care of you and want to do it in the safest & most socially responsible manner – we believe that this pathway is the best solution.

What do I do if I have a New Injury or Problem?

Please call our office 206-633-8100. We have modified our workflow to help keep as many patients out of the Emergency Room. This not only protects you from exposure to COVID-19, but more importantly, eases the burden on our hospital systems that desperately need to focus their resources on COVID-19 related care.
We are able to offer same-day appointments for urgent orthopedic care, including Saturday hours at our
Wallingford clinic.

If I have an Emergency, can I Come to your Clinic?

Of course, if you believe that you have a medical emergency, you should call 911 or proceed
immediately to the nearest Emergency Room. Fortunately, most orthopedic-related conditions can be dealt with in an in-person office visit. We have a provider on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so please call us. We will make sure you get the help you need.

What if I Need Emergency Surgery – Is this an Option?

Yes, surgery is an option, if it is determined that you are in need of urgent or emergent surgery. Our ambulatory surgery center stands ready to provide any surgery that is needed. Your surgeon will help you understand the nature of your condition and any consequences of delaying a surgery. Our #1 priority is protecting your health and safety.

What about my Postponed Surgery – when will it be Rescheduled?

Our surgery scheduling department will contact you if your surgery has been postponed. If postponed, it was considered an elective surgery by the CDC. Once we receive approval to resume performing elective surgery, our surgery scheduling department will contact you to schedule surgery.

What are some of the Reasons I should Not be Seen in Clinic?

In our limited time dealing with COVID19, we have learned there are certain patient populations who have increased risk factors. For your safety, we are currently advising patients with the following risk factors to avoid in person clinic visits:

>Uncontrolled or severe high blood pressure >heart or lung disease
>Morbid obesity (BMI greater than 34) >Diabetes
>Advanced age (80% of COVID deaths have been among people older than 65)

If you have COVID19 or have any COVID 19 symptoms, you cannot come into the clinic. If this is the case, you should self-quarantine and talk to your PCP about when it is safe to go to public places. If you have a more urgent injury or orthopedic injury while sick you should talk to your PCP about whether or not you should seek medical attention. You can call our clinic to determine the best course of action given your personal situation.

We request patients do their part. For the health of all those involved, please stay home unless you have a worsening or emergent condition. We request patients with chronic, but stable orthopedic condition, to please refrain from trying to make an appointment at this time.

What is your Clinic Doing to Help Stay Safe for COVID-19

We are following the CDC recommendations for social distancing, as well as the latest environmental cleaning and disinfecting standards. Hand washing is a top priority for all employees and each staff member is required to wear a mask. All of our staff, including the providers, have temperature and symptom checks before starting the day according to the last CDC guidelines and recommendations. We take your safety seriously and want to protect you and our staff.

For your protection, as well as our staff members, we are actively reducing in-person office visits to decrease the number of people in our clinic at any given time. At this time, all patients must come to the practice alone, unless you need physical assistance or you are a minor.

You can find more information on the Proliance Surgeons COVID-19 What You Need to Know Webpage.

Orthopedic Surgeon vs Podiatrist

There is often confusion regarding the difference between orthopedic surgeons specializing in the foot and ankle and podiatrists. There is significant overlap between the two specialties in terms the types of issues they treat.

Commonalities between an Orthopedic Surgeon and Podiatrist

medical studentsBoth orthopedic surgeons specializing in foot and ankle surgery as well as podiatrists treats a myriad of conditions effecting the foot and ankle include the following:

  • Injuries such as a fractures, sprains, and strains
  • Congenital deformities
  • Degenerative changes
  • Nerve entrapments

The Difference

Ultimately there is a difference in the training providers from each specialty go through. Orthopedic surgeons complete a 4 year undergraduate degree, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of a general surgical residency, and typically an additional year in a orthopedic subspecialty, such as foot and ankle. They must then practice in the field of orthopedic surgery to become board certified. Podiatrists complete a 4 year undergraduate degree, 4 years of pediatric school, and 3 years of residency.

Here at Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle we have Dr. Mark Reed, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in conditions of the foot ankle. He is supported by an excellent team of physician assistants.

Hip Arthritis and Hip Replacement Surgery FAQs

Hip Arthritis and Hip Replacement Surgery

What is hip arthritis?

Hip arthritis is when the cartilage covering the bones of the joint is damaged and absent.  It can vary from minimal damage to complete loss of the cartilage.

How does hip replacement work?

Hip replacement removes and replaces the ball and socket of the native joint.  The artificial parts work the same as the native joint components.  The capsule, ligaments, and surrounding muscles move the artificial parts the same as the native ones.

What is the difference between the anterior approach to the hip and the traditional approach?

The anterior approach to the hip enters the joint from the front.  The move traditional approach in North America enters the hip through the back.  Different muscles are altered for each approach, and the hip capsule and ligaments are weakened in the front versus the back.

How long will I need to stay in the hospital?

The typical stay is 1-2 days.  Leaving the hospital is based on your pain and mobility.  Once your pain is well controlled with oral pain pills, and you can climb stairs and use the bathroom, you are usually safe to go home.

Will I need physical therapy after my surgery?

The need for therapy varies from case to case, but it is not necessary for everyone.  If a therapist can help you get moving faster and speed the recovery, one is prescribed.

When do I need to follow up with the doctor?

Typically the patient is seen 1 and ½ weeks, 1 and ½ months, and 3 months after surgery.  Visits continue until pain and function have returned to normal.

How long will I be on pain medicines?

This can vary from days to weeks depending on disability before surgery and other medical issues.

When can I return to work?

Desk work is okay days after surgery.  Manual labor is usually not safe for at least 1 and ½ months after surgery.

When can I drive a car?

Once you are off narcotic pain pills, you can drive.

What activities does a hip replacement prevent me from doing?

One can perform any activity after hip replacement.  The issue is the activity’s impact on the longevity of the replacement.  Higher impact activities will decrease the lifespan of the implants and therefore should be minimized.

About Hip Dysplasia and PAO

What is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is when the hip socket is too shallow providing inadequate support to the femoral head.  This inadequate support leads to premature damage to the hip cartilage and arthritis.

What are the alternatives to surgery?

Activity modification, pain pills, gentle exercise.

What exactly is done in surgery?

The socket of the hip is repositioned to better cover the femoral head and support weight.  This repositioning is done after freeing the socket from the rest of the pelvis.  Once the position has been changed, the socket is held with screws to allow bone healing similar to fracture healing.

Will surgery fix my problem?

Surgery will improve the position of the hip and its biomechanics.  The hip will not be perfect, but will be better able to support your weight for activities of daily living.

How long will I be in the hospital?

Typically 3-4 days.  When you can do stairs and go to the bathroom, you can go home.

What special equipment will I need?

You should only need crutches.  Occasionally a raised toilet seat helps, but not always necessary.

Will I need physical therapy?

Physical therapy is not always necessary, but can help certain patients get back to there active lifestyle faster.  Each case is evaluated separately for this need.

How long will I need to be off work after PAO?

Desk work can begin days after surgery.  Manual labor is not possible for about 2 and ½ months.

When can I return to recreational activities?

Biking and swimming are good usually after about 2 weeks.  Impact sports are not advisable until after 3 months.

When can I drive a car?

Once you are off narcotic pain pills, you can drive a car.

About Hip Arthroscopy

What is a labral tear?

The labrum is a soft cartilage around the rim of the hip socket. This labrum can tear as a result of impingement conditions, described above, or with trauma.

What is hip arthroscopy?

Hip arthroscopy is a procedure where the hip joint is visualized using small instruments that require a very small incision to insert. The instruments enable visualization of the joint and certain interventions such as removal of pieces of tissue, repair of cartilage, and bone removal.

How does hip arthroscopy surgery fix my problem?

Hip arthroscopy addresses the different issues you may have. A torn labrum can be trimmed or repaired. Excessive bone can be shaped to avoid rubbing. Inflamed tissue lining the joint capsule (synovium) can be removed. Also rarely, tissue floating in the joint can be removed.

Will I need crutches?

If bone is removed from the femoral neck, the hip is protected with crutches for 4 weeks to reduce the risk of injury to the femoral neck. The bone takes longer to fully recover, but the risk of falling is fairly low at this time after surgery.

What is the recovery?

Recovery can vary, but typically if bone work is performed, the recovery is 2-3 months. One should remain active during this time, mainly taking part in low impact activities such as swimming and biking.

When can I return to recreational activities?

A gradual return can begin immediately after surgery beginning with swimming and biking. After 2-3 months, one can resume higher impact sports unless advised by the surgeon.

When can I drive?

You can drive once off narcotic pain pills.

Anterior Hip Replacement

Our orthopedic surgeons Dr. Watt, Dr. Peterson, and Dr. Downer, now perform total hip replacement and other hip surgeries through a smaller, less-invasive approach. The purpose of the anterior approach is to perform a total hip replacement with less disruption of the surrounding soft-tissues and muscles. When the doctor performs this procedure through smaller incisions, there is less pain and a faster recovery because there is less soft-tissue and muscle dissection.

Anterior hip surgery is not a new idea; in fact, many surgeons have chosen this approach since the 1980s. However, what is new about the anterior hip replacement procedure is the surgeons are using smaller incisions and more specialized instruments to make the surgery less traumatic to the patient. … read more