Severity of Covid-19 Lockdown Orders Corresponds to Orthopaedic Trauma Volume


During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, states implemented social distancing guidelines. This study examines the effect of the severity of lockdown orders on orthopaedic trauma volume. Two institutions, one in a state with strict stay home (SH) orders and one in a state with lax social distancing (SD) orders, were examined. Surgical case counts, total orthopaedic case counts, orthopaedic trauma case counts, institution trauma activations, and mechanism of injury data were collected and compared to control periods. For SH versus SD, total surgical cases decreased 48.6% vs. 62%; orthopaedic cases decreased 51.8% vs. 62%, and orthopaedic trauma cases decreased 34% v. 0%. Orthopaedic trauma cases comprised more of both institutions’ total cases. Total surgical cases decreased at both SH and SD, but orthopaedic trauma cases did not decrease at SD. More strict social distancing orders correlate with greater reduction in orthopaedic trauma cases. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 31(4):222–225, 2022)

Key words: Coronavirus 2019, COVID-19, orthopaedic trauma, social distancing, pandemic, lockdown

Kasa B. Cooper, MD; Adam K. Lee, MD; Douglass W. Tucker, MD; Eric Siegel, MS; Simon C. Mears, MD PhD; and Steven M. Cherney, MD