Updated 4/7/2020: Governor Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency in North Carolina due to the spread of the novel Coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 illness. Additionally, he has suspended all “elective” surgery in the state in hospitals and surgery centers. This policy should help to slow the spread of the COVID-19 illness and conserve equipment and supplies for patients and caregivers who need to respond to the pandemic. Hospitals have been preparing for an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the region. 

Just what is an elective surgery? The Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina has defined this as any surgery which if not done within 4 weeks would cause harm to the patient. At this time, only surgery that is time-sensitive and needs to be done within 4 weeks will be allowed. 

Many surgeries in orthopedics are urgent or non-elective. These surgeries ideally should be done sooner rather than later in order to achieve the best outcome. Delay of a few weeks can result in a worse outcome. Examples of urgent procedures in hand surgery include: fracture repair, tendon repair, nerve repair, ligament repair, drainage of infections, reduction of dislocated joints, treatment of burns, among others.

If you have an injury, please seek prompt evaluation. Your doctor will decide which treatment is best, and surgery can be performed if this procedure is considered urgent. For most patients, Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center doctors can perform surgery at an ambulatory surgery center as an outpatient outside the hospitals. Our office is taking precautions against the Coronavirus to reduce the risk to our staff and patients. 

Urgent Conditions in the hand and arm:

  • Fractures
  • Tendon injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Infections
  • Joint dislocations 
  • Ligament injuries
  • Skin lacerations
  • Burns