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Peripheral Nerve Block - Lower Limb

Information about peripheral nerve block (lower limb) is listed here. If after reading it you still have unanswered questions, please consult your GP.

What is it all about?

A peripheral nerve block is a form of regional anaesthetic whereby local anaesthetic and other painkillers are injected near major nerves in the leg. The injection numbs the leg and provides the patient with temporary pain relief.

A patient can receive a peripheral nerve block while they are awake, with sedation, or with a spinal or general anaesthetic. For operations on the leg, patients are typically given spinal or general anaesthetic. The nerve block is given alongside spinal or general anaesthetic to aid post-operative pain control. The patient may be injected near their groin, behind their knee, in their ankle, foot, or in their thigh.


Figure 1
Peripheral nerve block

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All about the procedure

To identify the most effective position for the injection, the anaesthetist will use an ultrasound and a nerve stimulator to find the best location.

After that, the anaesthetic injection will be administered, sometimes via a very small tube which can remain in place in case further applications are necessary.

Side effects

  • Failure of the injection to work
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Allergic reaction
  • Local anaesthetic toxicity

In summary

A peripheral nerve block for lower limbs is suitable for most people. It offers safe and effectual relief from pain.

References: 

EIDO Healthcare Limited - The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare. 

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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