Peripheral nerve blocks are a type of regional
anesthesia. The anesthetic is injected near a specific
nerve or bundle of nerves to block sensations of pain from a specific area of
Nerve blocks usually last longer than local anesthesia. They are most
commonly used for surgery on the arms and hands, the legs and feet, or the
Proper positioning of the needle during a nerve block may involve
touching the nerve to be blocked with the tip of the needle. When this occurs,
you may experience a sharp sensation like an electrical shock in the part of
the body supplied by the nerve. Be sure to let your anesthesiologist know if
you feel such a sensation.
Other medicines are often given with nerve blocks to make you
relaxed or sleepy (sedatives) or to reduce pain. These are given through a vein
People are carefully watched during the procedure, because the
anesthetics used for regional nerve blocks may affect the
central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and
respiratory system (airway and lungs) and may affect breathing,
heartbeat, and other vital functions.
Nerve blocks may be most useful when the procedure:
September 30, 2011
Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman, MD, MD - Anesthesiology
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