Updated 3/26/2020: Governor Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency in North Carolina due to the spread of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 illness. Additionally, he has suspended all “elective” surgery in the state in hospitals and surgery centers.

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. In other words, 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. 

Urgent Conditions in the hand and arm:

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