CHICAGO - Debbie Doran is an avid exerciser and traveler, but she was sidelined by knee pain.
"I couldn't walk," she shared. "My knee hurt that bad."
Then, COVID-19 twice sidelined her knee replacement surgery.
"Because of COVID, it was cancelled," Doran continued. "Then we rescheduled for April and, it was cancelled," continued Doran.
As elective surgeries begin to resume, some doctors are recommending their patients have surgery now in case there is another spike in COVID cases.
"I tell my patients now is the best time to get surgery because if it gets bad, we may have to cancel elective surgeries or at least postpone them again," said Dr. Richard Berger, an orthopedic surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.
But is getting surgery at the hospital safe?
"Other than staying home, it's about the safest place you can possibly go," Berger continued.
"We keep up to date with all the most current guidelines put out there by the Department of Public Health as well as the CDC," said Dr. Parag Patel, an anesthesiologist at Rush University Medical Center stated.
For elective surgeries, hospitals are implementing new protocols to keep everyone safe.
"We do a screening out front before they come in. Check their temperatures. Check for any symptoms," Patel said. "We are testing all of our patients for COVID before they come in for surgery."
And for high-risk procedures, a clear drape or plastic box is placed over patients to reduce the risk of spread.
After months of waiting, Doran is finally able to have her knee replacement surgery.
"I thought, you know what, why not just get this over with, because I got a lot of living to do here," said Doran.
With the pause in elective surgeries, experts said it may take up to three or four months to resolve the backlog of surgeries.