A fascia iliaca nerve block is a way to “turn off” pain signals in the hip and thigh. It’s used to manage pain, to numb an area during surgery or procedures, and in recovery. A nerve block can reduce your need for other pain medications that have more side effects.
Your provider may recommend a nerve block if you have pain in your hip or thigh that isn’t responding to physical therapy or other treatments.
Complications are rare with nerve blocks, but can occur with any anesthesia procedure, block, or injection. They can include:
- Failure to relieve pain — in this case, other methods of pain management would be used
- Bleeding or bruising
- Infection at the injection site
- Damage to nerves
- Allergy to the medication used
- Death (extremely rare)
A fascia iliaca nerve block offers a variety of benefits, includes:
- May relieve or diagnose pain
- Is less invasive than surgery, fewer risks
- Allows fast recovery
- Does not require a hospital stay
A nerve block such as a fascia iliaca nerve block, is usually given by an anesthesiologist, a doctor who specializes in controlling pain. The doctor will inject numbing medication around the nerves that control movement, pain, and feeling.
A nerve block can be given:
- As a single injection (shot). An injection will control pain from a few hours up to 36 hours.
- Through a catheter. A catheter is a thin tube inserted near the nerve. Medication is pumped slowly and continuously through the catheter into the tissue near the nerve. A catheter can be used to control pain for a longer period of time. If you have a catheter, you may go home with it.
Call your doctor or nurse right away if you experience any of the following:
- Severe or prolonged shortness of breath.
- Pain that you can’t control.
Ask your doctor when you can expect the fascia iliaca nerve block to wear off. While it’s in effect you won’t be able to feel anything in the area. That means you’re at greater risk for injury or falls. These are ways you can protect yourself:
- If you need to get out of bed, be sure to call for assistance.
- While resting, reposition yourself from time to time. This will help prevent you from putting too much pressure on one area. You may need help to do this. Ask for help.
- While you’re in the hospital, your nurses will help you. Once you go home, make sure someone is nearby who can help.
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