How long does a nerve block last?

There are two types of nerve blocks – non-surgical and surgical. Non-surgical nerve blocks are administered during surgery to provide temporary regional anesthesia to a specific area, effectively blocking pain. These blocks typically last longer than local anesthesia, but may not last long enough for extensive procedures and may require multiple injections. Typically, non-surgical nerve blocks wear off within 12 to 36 hours, though some patients may still feel the effects up to 48 hours later. Surgical nerve blocks, on the other hand, involve intentionally damaging a nerve or nerve bundles to provide long-term or permanent pain relief. The effects of surgical nerve blocks can last for weeks or even be permanent.

What is the procedure for a nerve block?

Nerve blocks can be either surgical or non-surgical and involve injecting medication close to a nerve to provide anesthetic benefits. Different types of nerve blocks are used depending on the area of the body being treated. A surgical sympathetic blockade, for example, involves injecting medication into the sympathetic ganglia, while a rhizotomy damages the root of nerves as they extend from the spinal cord. A neurectomy, on the other hand, involves removing parts or all of peripheral nerves. Non-surgical nerve blocks can be achieved by injecting medication at different nerve sites for surgical procedures, or by injecting a major nerve or nerve bundle to provide numbing across a larger area. Peripheral nerve blocks target specific nerves for pain relief in smaller, focused areas, while epidurals involve injecting an analgesic or corticosteroid around the spinal cord to block pain from the lower body. Spinal nerve blocks differ from epidurals in that medication is injected into the dural sac, providing almost immediate pain relief across the whole body. Before administering a nerve block, doctors will use medical imaging technology to ensure the medication is injected in the correct location. Patients will also be given sedatives to calm anxiety and reduce pain, and will be closely monitored for any changes in vitals.

Can a nerve block be permanent?

Non-surgical nerve blocks typically last up to 48 hours, while surgical nerve blocks are intended to provide long-term symptom relief and may offer permanent pain relief. However, success rates vary and not all surgical nerve blocks result in permanent pain relief.

How are nerve blocks used?

Nerve blocks are used in both surgical and non-surgical settings to provide pain relief or regional anesthesia. They are commonly used for surgeries on the legs, arms, hands, feet, and face. They may be used instead of local anesthesia for surgeries over a large area, as high doses of local anesthesia can have significant side effects. Additionally, nerve block injections can be used to diagnose and treat pain and inflammation.

What is a peripheral nerve block?

A peripheral nerve block is a type of regional anesthesia in which anesthetic is injected near a specific nerve or bundle of nerves to block sensations of pain in a specific area of the body. Peripheral nerve blocks have several advantages, including reduced risk of post-operative fatigue and vomiting, improved post-operative pain management, and the option for patients to be awake or asleep during the procedure.

Am I a candidate for a peripheral nerve block?

Peripheral nerve blocks may be recommended for those experiencing persistent post-surgery pain or those with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). They are most commonly used for surgery on the arms, hands, legs, feet, or face.