EDINA, Minn. (WCCO) — Scott Dzuik is one step closer to finally walking pain free. A sports injury when he was young will result in a knee replacement as an adult.

When that was supposed to happen earlier this spring, the COVID-19 pandemic put his and countless other elective surgeries on hold.

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But the term elective can be misleading, especially if you’re the one in need of a medical fix.

“I think the more accurate term is necessary,” Twin Cities Orthopedics surgeon Dr. Scott Anseth said.

Medical procedures like Scott’s were postponed by emergency order to allow essential medical supplies to be diverted to the pandemic fight.

On Tuesday, Governor Tim Walz announced that part of the state’s stay-at-home order is being lifted.

“We’re very excited to start, these are time sensitive and essential surgeries,” TCO orthopedic surgeon and board member Dr. Owen O’Neill said.

With the order lifted, surgeons like O’Neill and Anseth can once again restore quality of life to their patients forced to live in pain.

“We have some patients who can’t walk from their bed to the bathroom without a walker. They’re taking pain medicine, it’s changed their mental status,” Dr. O’Neill said.

Dr. O’Neill credits TCO’s strict protocols for getting the practice up and running again. Every patient and staff member who enters one of TCO’s clinic locations will be tested for COVID-19.

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“It’s important for us that we can provide an environment for the patient that they know they can come in, have an operation for an essential type of surgery and it will be a COVID-free environment,” Dr. Owen O’Neill said.

TCO is now operating seven drive-up COVID-19 test sites across the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Patients come in a couple of days before a rescheduled procedure and get results quickly.

Twin Cities Orthopedics is partnering with Eden Prairie-based OralDNA Labs to expedite the process.

In addition, before staff or patient enters a clinic they will be scanned for their temperature to guard against any fevers.

Patients are telling Dr. Scott Anseth they’re more than ready to be rescheduled.

Dr. Anseth recalled one patient telling him, “Thank goodness you’re calling, I can’t wait any longer. One gentleman told me last night I just can’t sleep anymore, it’s so painful. I’m so grateful you’re getting this organized and getting this back.”

Scott Dzuik is happy too – he’ll be getting that new knee, next Thursday.

“It’s going to be great. I’m looking forward to the recovery and eventually in a few months, being better than I am now,” Dzuik said.

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So far more than 500 tests have been administered by TCO and they have had no staff or patient test positive for COVID-19.