Peripheral Nerve Blocks

What is a peripheral nerve block?

A peripheral nerve block is a medical procedure used to relieve pain by numbing specific nerves. It involves injecting medication near the nerves that are responsible for transmitting pain signals.

How does a peripheral nerve block work?

A nerve block interrupts pain signals by temporarily numbing the nerve, resulting in pain relief in the targeted area. While numb, nerves will often “reset” so they are not as sensitive for a while, even after the numbness resolves.

What medications are used in a peripheral nerve block?

We use a local anesthetic (lidocaine or bupivacaine) and sometimes add an anti-inflammatory steroid (aka cortisone).

How is a peripheral nerve block performed?

We will first clean the injection site with antiseptic to reduce the risk of infection. We will then use a thin needle to inject the medication near the targeted nerves.

Is a peripheral nerve block painful?

The procedure itself is usually well-tolerated, however, you may experience some discomfort or pressure sensation during the injection. We will do our best to minimize the discomfort.

Where can peripheral nerve blocks be used?

Peripheral nerve blocks can be performed in various parts of your body, depending on the location of your pain. Common areas include the head, neck, back, and extremities.

How long does the benefit of a peripheral nerve block last?

Typically, the involved area is numb for a few hours after the injection, but you may experience decreased pain in the area for days to weeks afterward.

What are the potential risks and side effects of a peripheral nerve block?

Although peripheral nerve blocks are generally safe, like any medical procedure, they carry some risks. Possible side effects include temporary numbness, weakness, bruising, or infection at the injection site. Rarely, nerve damage or an allergic reaction to the medication used may occur.

How soon can I expect pain relief after a peripheral nerve block?

The onset of pain relief is usually within a few minutes of the nerve being blocked.

Are there any limitations or precautions associated with peripheral nerve blocks?

Peripheral nerve blocks may not be suitable for everyone. We will consider your medical history, current medications, and specific condition to determine if this procedure is appropriate for you. We will also provide you with instructions on any precautions or limitations you should follow after the nerve block.

Does insurance cover peripheral nerve blocks?

Insurance coverage for peripheral nerve blocks can vary depending on your insurance plan and the specific medical condition being treated. We will usually check with your insurance provider prior to performing the nerve block to determine coverage and if prior authorization is required.