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Wide Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet Surgery of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Patients' Experience and Recall Bias in a Day-Care Setting.

Medicina 2023 May 20
Background and Objective : Wide-Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet (WALANT) is a technique of local anesthesia commonly used in the surgical treatment of a wide variety of conditions affecting the upper extremity, including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The recent retrospective studies investigated patient experiences in a wide variety of hand disorder-related cases. The aim of our study is to evaluate patient satisfaction regarding open surgical treatment for CTS using the WALANT technique. Material and Methods : we enrolled 82 patients with CTS without medical record of surgical treatment for CTS. For WALANT, a hand surgeon used a combination of 1:200,000 epinephrine, 1% lidocaine, and 1 mL 8.4% sodium bicarbonate solution without tourniquet application and sedating the patient. All patients were treated in a day-care setting. For assessment of patient experience, Lalonde's questionnaire was adapted. Participants completed survey twice: one month and six months after the surgical treatment was performed. Results : the median pre-operative pain score for all patients was 4 (range 0-8) after one month and 3 (range 1-8) after six months. The median intraoperative pain score for all patients was 1 (range 0-8) after one month and 1 (range 1-7) after six months. The median post-operative pain score for all patients was 3 (range 0-9) after one month and 1 (range 0-8) after six months. More than half (61% after one month and 73% after six months) of the patients responded by stating that their real experience of WALANT was better than their initial expectations. An absolute majority of patients (95% after one month and 90% after six months) would recommend WALANT treatment to their relatives. Conclusions : overall, patient satisfaction with treatment for CTS using WALANT is high. Furthermore, complications related to the performed treatment and persistent post-operative pain could be associated with more reliable patient recall of this healthcare intervention. A longer period of time between intervention and assessment of patient experience could possibly be a reason for recall bias.

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