Less Pain, Speedy Recovery With Regional Anesthesia Procedure

Femoral nerve block shows positive results for pediatric knee surgery 

Ultrasound machines help cut hospitalization rates by 98 percent in children who had knee surgery

Dr. Tarun Bhalla of Nationwide Children`s Hospital uses an ultrasound machine to locate and numb specific nerves during a recent knee surgery on a 15-year old patient.

A recent study showed that an ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia technique called a femoral nerve block is both effective and highly beneficial for pediatric knee surgeries. The study, published in an issue of the¬†Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, was conducted at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and showed how the technique reduces post-operative pain and speeds up recovery, allowing the majority of patients to go home within hours of surgery.

Femoral nerve blocks work by numbing the femoral nerve, which runs adjacent to the femoral artery and transmits signals running along the front of the thigh, the inner leg and the foot. Numbing the nerve cuts off all feeling to the regions, and can last as long as 12 hours for some patients.

Researchers reviewed 376 patient records ranging from ages 7 to 18 who had arthroscopic knee surgery at the hospital between July 2008 and July 2011. Of these patients, 131 received femoral nerve blocks in addition to general anesthesia, while the rest received general anesthesia only. Patients in the first group experienced less pain, required less pain medication after surgery and had shorter hospital stays than the second group.

To read the full article on ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia for pediatric knee surgery, click here.

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