An overview of the regional anesthetic procedure
Just what exactly is a peripheral nerve block? This regional anesthetic procedure is gaining new ground in modern healthcare for a variety of different reasons.
In short, peripheral nerve blocks are a type of regional anesthesia where a specific part of the body is targeted to be numbed with a local anesthetic, which then allows the area to be operated on during surgery. This is done by injecting the local anesthetic around a nerve or group of nerves that control feeling and movement to the area of the body being operated on. This technique can be used either as the sole method of anesthesia or in combination with general anesthesia.
Depending on the location of the surgery, different types of peripheral nerve blocks can be performed in order to provide the most relief for the patient. They include blocks of the upper limb (arm, forearm and hand), blocks of the lower limb (leg, knee and foot) and various blocks at the trunk (chest and abdomen). No matter what kind is used, all peripheral nerve blocks are performed by trained anesthesiologists. Ultrasound is most often used in order to identify the specific nerve or nerves that will be numbed, along with a special needle to administer the drug.
Peripheral nerve blocks provide tremendous pain relief both during and after surgery, and carry with them few side effects or complications. They’re known to reduce the use of opioids for post-surgical pain and also enable earlier physical activity.
For more information on peripheral nerve blocks, please read the following article: I See the Knife Cutting into Me … but I Feel No Pain.
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