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VSON Innovative Wide-Awake Hand Surgeries

Updated: Feb 29


Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery was recognized in the Summit Daily recently for our revolutionary work in wide awake surgery. Otherwise known as WALANT (Wide Awake Local Anesthesia, No Tourniquet), might seem like a frightening endeavor, but it is less invasive than typical surgeries and requires less healing time.


Dr. Erik Dorf has been doing wide awake had surgeries for a year-and-a-half now, completing more than 200 operations of its kind in Summit County. He was recently approved to begin performing the procedure at Edwards Surgery Center in Eagle County, as well.


Using local anesthesia, patients don't feel a thing even though they are awake. No sedation means no nasty side effects from general anesthesia, which can sometimes include headache, nausea, and fogginess, among other issues. WALANT surgeries also offer the benefit of a much quicker recovery time, meaning patients can go home sooner and aren't as reliant on pain medications.


Wide awake hand surgeries offer some groundbreaking scientific benefits as well. Because the patient is awake during the operation, Dr. Dorf can test the patients' response to the procedure in real-time by asking them to move their hand in specific ways, allowing for precision and an overall better outcome.

VSON is proud to be able to offer WALANT hand surgeries as an option to our patients. Awake hand surgeries are one of two awake procedures we offer, which include Dr. Ernest Braxton's awake spine surgeries, which he began performing in the summer of 2019.


Depending on your injury and preference, wide awake hand surgeries may be an excellent fit for you. With a speedy recovery time and optimal results, patients can get back to being active even sooner than anticipated.


Click here to read the Summit Daily article on Dr. Dorf's wide awake hand surgeries.

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