Safety and Efficacy of In-Office Hand Procedures

J Hand Microsurg. 2024 May 14;16(2):100037. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1768484. eCollection 2024 Jun.


Background: The primary concerns with operating on patients in the office setting are insufficient sterility and lack of appropriate resources in case of excessive bleeding or other surgical complications. This study serves to investigate these concerns and determine whether in-office hand surgeries are safe and clinically effective.

Methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent minor hand operations in the office setting between December 2020 and December 2021 was performed. The surgical procedures included in this analysis are needle aponeurotomy, trigger finger release, foreign body removal, mass removal, and reduction in a finger fracture with or without percutaneous pinning. All fractures, which primarily included metacarpal and phalangeal fractures, were subsequently splinted. Sterility and hemostatic support were achieved via the Wide-Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet (WALANT) method. Major complications were defined as infection, major bleeding, and neurological deficits. Minor complications were defined as prolonged pain, prolonged inflammation, residual symptoms, and recurrence of symptoms within 1 month.

Results: Five patients (3.8%) returned to the office for pain, inflammation, or stiffness of the affected finger, with two of the five returning with symptoms associated with osteoarthritis or pseudogout flare-ups. Five additional patients returned due to residual symptoms or recurrence of the primary complaint within 1 month of surgery. No patients experienced exogenous infection.

Conclusion: The absence of major complications and high success rate for minor hand procedures shows the high degree of safety and efficacy that can be achieved via the in-office setting for select procedures. While proper patient selection is key, our result shows the in-office procedure room setting can offer the necessary elements of sterility and hemostatic support for several common hand surgeries.

Keywords: Dupuytren’s contracture; complications; evidence-based medicine; hand infection; trigger finger.