How COVID-19 Has Impacted the Orthopedic Industry


The coronavirus pandemic has driven industries around the world to significantly change the way they do business, including the orthopedic industry. COVID-19 has affected the orthopedic industry in more ways than one, resulting in major changes in operative proceedings and revenue. Professionals are also anticipating that more updates will occur shortly.

Business and Financial Changes

The orthopedic market and entire health care field have felt an impact from COVID-19, forcing hospitals, clinics and primary care doctors to alter the ways they conduct business.

Delayed Surgeries

Perhaps the most significant example of how COVID-19 has affected the U.S. orthopedic industry is the mass postponement of elective surgeries and procedures. A study estimated that about 82% of orthopedic surgeries worldwide were canceled due to the virus. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommended instituting guidelines on elective surgery based on an organization’s location, that location in relation to the disease’s curve and the availability of resources.

This means that orthopedic organizations should avoid using beds, ventilators and equipment — with an emphasis on conducting outpatient procedures — if in an area where those resources are scarce.

Lower Revenue

With fewer surgeries comes lower revenue for the orthopedic and health care industries. For example, whenever Mayo Clinic paused nonemergency medical services in March, the hospital lost millions of dollars a day. Small and mid-sized practices could be hit even harder by revenue reductions as they have a smaller client pool.

Online Conferences

Due to the need for social distancing, the orthopedic industry has limited and canceled face-to-face conferences for doctors, patients, colleagues and vendors. Rather, these communications are taking place virtually through webinars, telemedicine, online conferences and virtual reality procedural training sessions. Many orthopedic organizations may continue to implement these telehealth services in everyday business so patients can get the care they need while staying safe.

Workforce Reductions

COVID-19 has impacted the orthopedic industry in terms of the workforce as well. Many practices have put layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions into effect in response to the drop in procedure volumes. In addition to these changes, orthopedic organizations may use telework strategies to hire and onboard new employees virtually. Some employees may also work from home, allowing patients to get the care they need online.

Get Orthopedic Care at OrthoBethesda

At OrthoBethesda, we’re offering online appointments in response to COVID-19. We specialize in treating bones, joints, hands, feet, knees, hips and shoulders to help you feel your best. Our trained physicians are skilled in conducting examinations, physical therapy sessions, x-rays and surgeries while also helping you better understand your ailments. At OrthoBethesda, we want to help you feel safe and at ease in our care.

Schedule an online appointment today or send us a message to learn more about our services.

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