The drop sparked calls from the region’s Lib Dem politicians to the Scottish Government to offer more help.
Figures published by Public Health Scotland showed that 8329 fewer operations took place under NHS Fife during the pandemic than during similar 14-month periods in the previous four years.
There were a total of 10,392 operations between March 2020 and April 2021 - well down on the average of 18,721 in previous years.
Willie Rennie MSP for north-east Fife, said: “Thousands of patients under NHS Fife are desperately waiting for treatment.
“Our NHS staff, still reeling from their gruesome workload during the pandemic, don't have the capacity and resources they need to deal with the backlog.”
Wendy Chamberlain, MP for the area, also called on the Scottish Government to tackle “meaningful steps to reduce the waiting times immediately”
NHS Fife said the pandemic led to the cancellation of a number of operations as it had to scale back its elective surgery programme to care for the numbers of COVID cases.
Claire Dobson, director of acute services,, said: “We took the decision not to postpone our entire elective programme over winter, and instead we continued to perform as many procedures as we could carry out safely.”She added:: “Significantly enhanced infection control measures are in place, particularly in relation to theatres and the way they operate.
“These requirements make it challenging to perform the same volume of procedures carried out prior to the pandemic.”