People utilizing physical therapy to prevent elective surgeries

Will elective surgeries be halted once again?
Posted at 12:01 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 12:03:10-04

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — Many Florida hospitals are now adjusting surge plans as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

Both Lee Health and NCH are nearing capacity as they are seeing a large increase in hospitalizations.

People fear Governor DeSantis will once again halt all elective surgeries to clear hospital beds for coronavirus patients.

Fox 4 spoke the owner of Back In Motion Physical Therapy, Dr. Scott Gray who says in the midst of the pandemic many people are now opting for physical therapy over invasive surgeries.

“People are a little more reserved about getting a surgery because of possibly catching COVID in the center. We focus on preventing surgeries. People seek us out because they don’t want to have an invasive injection or something like that,” said Dr. Gray

He says they have been experiencing an increase in patients since the start of the pandemic.

“We’re fully booked. During the initial shutdown, we took a hit, but since then we really haven’t missed a beat, ” said Dr. Gray.

Southwest Florida hospitals are currently working to accommodate patients with the rise in covid-19 cases.

Changes could include reducing elective surgeries such as hip and knee replacements, ligament repairs, or bariatric surgery.

Dr. Gray says they work to treat the full body mind and soul, as some elective surgeries can be prevented through physical therapy.

“Our big thing here is we want to fix the cause, not the symptoms,” said Dr. Scott Gray.
NCH says they are currently at an 85% bed capacity and have seen a 115% increase in hospitalizations in just 2 weeks.

If this trend continues they will reach capacity in just 4 weeks.

Lee Health is currently at 95% capacity, caring for nearly 300 COVID-19 patients.

Both hospitals are currently working to hire or bring back more employees to help with the surge in cases.

While there are no immediate plans to stop elective surgeries, it is likely to be on the horizon.