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A Review of 1228 In-Office Hand Surgery Procedures With Wide Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet (WALANT) at a Single Private Practice.

BACKGROUND: This study examined the complication rate of Wide Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet (WALANT) technique in the clinic setting with field sterility at a single private practice. We hypothesized that WALANT is safe and effective with a low complication rate.

METHODS: This retrospective chart review included 1228 patients who underwent in-office WALANT hand procedures at a single private practice between 2015 and 2022. Patients were divided into groups based on type of procedure: carpal tunnel release, A1 pulley release, first dorsal compartment release, extensor tendon repair, mass excision, foreign body removal, and needle aponeurotomy. Patient demographics and complications were recorded; statistical comparisons of cohort demographics and risk factors for complications were completed, and P < .05 was considered significant for all statistical comparisons.

RESULTS: The overall complication rate for all procedures was 2.77% for 1228 patients including A1 pulley release (n = 962, 2.7%), mass excision (n = 137, 3.7%), extensor tendon repair (n = 23, 4.3%), and first dorsal compartment release (n = 22, 8.3%). Carpal tunnel release, foreign body removal, and needle aponeurotomy groups experienced no complications. No adverse events (e.g. vasovagal reactions, digital ischemia, local anesthetic toxicity, inadequate vasoconstriction) were observed in any group. Patients with known autoimmune disorders and those who were currently smoking had a statistically significant higher complication rate.

CONCLUSIONS: Office-based WALANT procedures with field sterility are safe and effective for treating common hand maladies and have a similar complication profile when compared to historical controls from the standard operating room in an ambulatory center or hospital.

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