COVID-19: Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance’s Protocols and FAQs

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: March 21, 2022 At 12:18PM)

The COVID-19 Community Level is currently low, therefore beginning March 22nd, 2022, masks will now be optional in all TOA locations. We still ask that you reschedule your appointment if you are ill or running a fever. Please check back with us frequently, as we will be keeping an eye on community levels and adjusting our protocols accordingly. 

Timing of the COVID vaccine relative to elective surgery

Q. Does having a COVID vaccination affect when I can have surgery?
A. If you have had or are planning to have a COVID vaccination during the window of 1-2 weeks before or 1-2 weeks after a planned elective surgery, it may be in your best interest to reschedule either the elective surgery or the vaccination. Urgent or emergent surgery should not be delayed due to a COVID vaccine. Please contact your surgeon’s team if you have questions.

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: March 29, 2021 At 4:27PM)

In preparation for your upcoming appointment, please review our current guidelines:

Are you planning to have a steroid injection at your next appointment? Have you had or are planning to have the Covid Vaccine within 14 days of your upcoming appointment? If you answer yes to both of these then STOP. You will need to reschedule your appointment. Please contact us at 865-690-4861 so that we may assist you.

Why? Recent studies show that the use of steroids either 14 days before or 14 days after any steroid use (specifically injections) will hinder your bodies response to the vaccine, possibly making it inefficient at protecting you from the Covid-19 virus. As physicians, our priority is the health of our communities. To us, this means that we do not want to offer treatments that will interfere with your body’s ability to fight this virus. Our scheduling team will work with you to ensure that you are receiving the full benefit of the vaccine without sacrificing your orthopedic treatments.

  • Please remember that when you do enter any TOA facility, you need to be masked and illness free.
  • We require that all patients entering a TOA facility arrive alone unless their visitor is essential to the office visit.

Examples of an essential visitor include:

  • accompanying a minor who is a patient
  • accompanying a patient with a physical disability
  • accompanying a patient with a cognitive disability

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: January 11, 2021 At 7:41AM)

Recently concerns have surfaced that the use of steroid therapies such as intraarticular injections (injections in a joint), oral steroids and spine injections may possibly reduce the effectiveness of the Covid vaccine. If you have an upcoming appointment with TOA, please let your provider know if you have received the Covid Vaccine in the past two weeks, or if you are planning to take the Covid vaccine in the two weeks following your appointment. Your provider will discuss your options and may suggest alternative therapies.

If you have any questions or concerns about how this may affect your future appointments, please contact us at 865-690-4861.

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: November 24, 2020 At 11:17AM)

We require that all patients entering a TOA facility arrive alone unless their visitor is essential to the office visit.  Examples of an essential visitor include:

  • accompanying a minor who is a patient
  • accompanying a patient with a physical disability
  • accompanying a patient with a cognitive disability

All non-essential visitors will be asked to wait outside the TOA facility/building and a virtual solution can be arranged at the patients request.

We continue to offer Tele-health office visits for patients that would like to have direct communication with their provider without an in-office appointment.  If you would like to learn more about a Telehealth visit please contact us at 865-690-4861.

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: July 10, 2020 At 9:01AM)

Important: Beginning July 20th, we ask that all patients entering TOA facilities arrive alone unless they are a minor or need assistance.

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: June 1, 2020 At 2:29PM)

Policy Update for Patients and Family Members

For Our Patients Being Seen at Clinic Locations: Beginning, Monday June 1, patients with office visit appointments at clinic locations will be allowed to bring one family member with them to their appointment. Family members are required to be tested/screened. Masks are required for the entire length of the visit.

For Our Physical Therapy Patients: Due to limited space in both the PT waiting areas and the gym, only essential family members for seniors and minors are allowed to accompany patients for these appointments.

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: May 7, 2020 At 11:54AM)
We now require all Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance patients to wear face masks to their appointments.

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: April 24, 2020 At 4:10PM)

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: April 23, 2020 At 8:35PM)

This is important information for patients who have a surgery schedule or are contemplating surgery based on physician recommendations prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you are a patient who had to cancel a surgery and need to reschedule, please contact us at 865-524-5365.

What is the timeline for surgical scheduling?

  • May 4 – Outpatient procedures (requiring no hospital stay) will resume on a limited basis. Inpatient procedures (requiring hospitals stays)  that were scheduled prior to April 23, 2020 will be rescheduled on a limited basis, as well.
  • May 11- Schedule all procedures, both outpatient and those that require overnight hospital care.

I have an upcoming surgery scheduled. Will you test me for Covid-19 when I arrive?
We SCREEN all patients for the virus, however not all patients require testing. Testing will be determined on a patient by patient basis by the procedure, the surgical facility and/or the anesthesiologist. We will contact you prior to your procedure if testing is required.

Am I allowed to bring a family member/friend with my for my surgery?
Each facility has its own guidelines for visitors, care-takers and guest. You will be informed as to those specific guidelines. However, if you have questions, please contact your surgical facility for more information.

Will I need to wear a mask to my surgery check-in?
Plan to wear a mask to all of your pretesting appointments, in addition to your surgery check-in.

How should I prepare for my surgery?
You will be advised on everything you need to prepare for at your pretesting and/or pre-registration appointments.

What if I have been sick or I have been around a sick person prior to my surgery?
Please notify TOA and the surgical facility regarding your condition and contact of an infected person as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Should I worry about getting Covid-19 while I am in the hospital?
All TOA surgical facilities take every precaution to minimize the risk of any infection. This includes extensive cleaning/sanitizing, social distancing, temperature monitoring and appropriate protective equipment for all patients and providers. Please be advised that there is always a risk of infection no matter what steps are taken.

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: April 8, 2020 At 9:19AM)

TOA, in accordance with CDC guidelines, is recommending that our patients wear masks when visiting our clinics.

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: March 22, 2020 At 9:06PM)

We have implemented a Patients Only policy. Unless assistance is needed, family members and friends are not allowed in the clinic and are asked to wait in their vehicles.

Many of our patients are eligible to use our new Telemedicine service. Instead of a clinic visit, patients can have a consultation with their doctor via video chat. Please contact our scheduling department to see if this is an option for you. 865-524-5365

A new Prescreening process begins at TOA at Parkwest, Fort Sanders Regional, TOA at Oak Ridge and Dr. Randy Robbins office. You will be checked for:

  • A temperature of 100 or higher
  • Dry Cough
  • Illness
  • Travel to a high risk area within the last 14 days

You must reschedule your appointment if any of these apply to you.

TOA at Fort Sanders Regional Patients
Patients MUST arrive at The Center for Advanced Medicine via the main entrance on Clinch Avenue. At the Valet Parking circle, a TOA Staff member will prescreen each patient before entering the building.

Based on Departments of Health and CMS guidelines, we are postponing surgeries and scheduling them further out. All affected patients will be contacted to reschedule as soon as restrictions are lifted.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns. Scheduling and triage: (865) 524-5365 or email

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: March 20, 2020 At 8:39AM)

Due to recent developments regarding Covid-19 social distancing, TOA is implementing a new patient service called Telemedicine. This exciting, new approach to medicine is allowing many of our patients to have direct contact with their physician without the need for an office visit. For more information on Telemedicine, visit or call us at 865-524-5365.

If you are a patient with a schedule surgical procedure, we will contact you if it needs to be rescheduled.

Thank you for trusting us with your orthopedic care and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: March 19, 2020 At 2:15PM)

Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance continues to monitor the Covid-19 situation, keeping the safety of staff and patients our top priority.

Currently, all clinic locations are open with normal business hours for all of our patients.

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 865-524-5365 or 865-483-8478. You may also email us at

COVID-19 Updates

(Updated: March 16, 2020 At 4:33PM)

Q: I have an appointment at Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance and I am concerned about Covid-19. Should I cancel?
A: We are taking necessary precautions on behalf of our patients, staff and providers. Including:

  • Access to hand sanitizing stations and supplies
  • Encouraging all staff and providers to remain home if they are ill.
  • Screening all patients during the scheduling process (both online, via phone scheduling and at check in) to ask about recent illness, exposure and travel history
  • Our Chief Medical Officer is in constant communication with local and federal organizations to ensure TOA is following the most up to date recommended procedures.
  • To reduce any unnecessary exposure, please plan to come to your appointment alone or limit the number of people attending should you need assistance.

Currently, there is no need to cancel your appointment unless you are experiencing the following:

  • Feeling ill
  • Running a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Have a dry cough or shortness of breath
  • Have been out of the country or been on a cruise ship in the last 14 days
  • Had close contact or live with a person that has been out of the country or in a state considered a high-risk area, or been on a cruise ship in the last 14 days and/or diagnosed or suspected to have Covid-19


Q: I have some of the symptoms or situations listed above, what should I do?
A: Call your primary care provider for guidance and then contact us to reschedule your appointment. You can reach our scheduling department at either 865-690-4861 or 865-524-5365 or email us at


Q: I have surgery scheduled with a TOA surgeon; will I have to reschedule it?
A: TOA is in constant contact with our hospital and surgery center partners. There is currently no plan to stop procedures/tests/elective surgical cases at any of these facilities. However, as we continue to monitor the situation, this scenario may change, and we will modify our plans and communicate any scheduling changes to our patients.

For more information, please visit: CDC’s Coronavirus FAQs