WALANT for Distal Radius Fractures? What Now?

Time to step out of the comfort zone...

WALANT for Distal Radius Fractures? What Now?

I was intrigued by the CORRelations post “WALANT for Distal Radius Fractures?,” which suggested that “wide-awake local anesthesia no tourniquet” surgery worked well for patients undergoing open reduction and internal fixation of distal radial fractures.

What a change from my earlier days in practice, when nearly everyone was kept overnight (at least) in the hospital. I recognize that outpatient surgery for distal radius fractures is not novel, but the WALANT approach is another step in the direction of streamlining the care of our patients with upper extremity conditions and injuries.

I recently was at a course where the speakers espoused old-fashioned methods of caring for patients based on nothing more than “that’s how I’ve always done it.” We need to get over this. Although there is wisdom in many old habits, this CORRelations post caused me to want to push harder in the direction of greater efficiency and quality.

While we need to avoid the many new, expensive treatments that don’t provide any value to our patients, we need to be open to reasonable changes.

As a trauma surgeon, I’ve been hesitant to try WALANT for distal radial fractures for the same reason as the speakers were at that course I mentioned: I’m very comfortable in my old ways on this topic.

But after reading this CORRelations post, I'm going to step out of my comfort zone and give WALANT a try for distal radius fractures. I encourage you to do the same.

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