Peripheral Nerve Blocks

Peripheral Nerve Blocks

Peripheral Nerve Blocks are made of anesthesia to alter levels of pain caused by nerves that are in control of sensation. It can be used for any surgery or operation.

The most common use of Peripheral Nerve Blocks is during knee replacements to reduce levels of pain during the operation.

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How do Peripheral Nerve Blocks work?

  1. Your skin will be cleaned with antiseptic.
  1. During most procedures, a nerve stimulator is used to pinpoint which peripheral nerve needs to be targeted.
  1. Also, fluoroscopy can be used (which is similar to an X-Ray) which will be able to guide the operator to the root of the pain.
  1. A needle is inserted into the nerve causing your limbs to feel numb. Most people at this point have the inability to speak or move their body. This only lasts for a maximum of 30 minutes.
  1. The special needle is placed around the nerves and will touch the one that is causing pain – this will be able to be singled out by the fluoroscopy.
  1. This needle may be used to also settle severe muscle spasms.
  1. For most procedures you are given a local anesthetic to numb the area or sedatives through an IV can be used.

After surgery, there are reports of people who feel their limbs as numb for up to 20 hours post-surgery. Remember to take it easy when completing simple day-to-day activities, as you don’t want to disrupt the healing process.

Benefits of Peripheral Nerve Blocks

One of the benefits of this procedure is that the operation is fast – as is the recovery time. This means that you can be back to your normal day-to-day activities in no time.

You will need weaker painkillers – the Peripheral Nerve Block will only need a small dose of painkillers to stop any post-operation effects such as nausea.

Side Effects

It is very rare that people experience side effects from Peripheral Nerve Blocks, however, some have reported a “tingling” feeling in the region that was painful previously which can last for 7 days. This is only temporary and most people say that side effects do not persist for longer than a week.

There are some other short-term side effects such as weight gain, itching or rashes in the region where the injection was inserted however these are short-term and should disappear fully in a maximum of 72 hours.

The more serious side effects can include nerve damage, infection and internal bleeding, however, this is very rare.

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