Orthopedic Surgery and Telemedicine in Times of COVID-19 and Beyond: a Review

Philippe Moisan, Bardia Barimani, John Antoniou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: This review article presents the current knowledge on the use of telemedicine and summarizes the literature highlighting the advantages and limitations of this technology in the field of orthopedic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Recent Findings: Orthopedic surgery is the surgical specialty that has seen the highest proportion of its procedures cancelled due to the pandemic. In this context and onward, telemedicine seems to be a reasonable option for the orthopedic surgeon. Multiple studies have described its safety and a similar patient satisfaction compared to in-person consultations. It has a potential to increase productivity and decrease wait times by providing easier access to the clinician and by decreasing travel-associated limitations and costs. Authors have described the possibility to conduct a reliable virtual assessment of the patient range of motion. Some of the limitations to the use of this technology are technological literacy and access to virtual consultation platforms, the inability to conduct a complete physical examination, potential reduction in identification of intimate and child abuse victims, and limited knowledge about the legal implications of this technology. Summary: Telemedicine in orthopedic surgery has a potential to increase productivity, reduce costs, and increase the access to healthcare. Identified limitations include risk of misdiagnosis, required technologic literacy, unknown legal implications, and failure to identify victims of abuse. In order to use this technology judiciously, the clinician must take into consideration the patient’s condition and his technological literacy and be aware of the advantages and disadvantages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-159
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Telemedicine
  • Teleorthopedics
  • Virtual consultations
  • Virtual physical examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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