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Table 4 National Health Service arthroplasty scheduling recommendations, adapted from the Federation of Specialty Surgical Associations (UK) [17]

From: Lessons learnt from the impact of COVID-19 on arthroplasty services in Hong Kong: how to prepare for the next pandemic?

Priority Surgery timeframe Orthopaedics & traumatology examples
1a  < 24 h • Infection: e.g., septic arthritis (natural or prosthetic joint)
• Dislocated joints
1b  < 72 h • Unstable articular fractures that will result in severe disability without operative fixation
2  < 1 months • Destructive bone lesion with risk of fracture (e.g., giant cell tumour)
• Solitary metastasis
• Arthroplasty – any site where delay will prejudice outcome
3  < 3 months • Revision surgery for loosening without impending fracture, or recurrent joint instability
4  > 3 months • Arthroplasty/arthrodesis – not otherwise specified