This handout explains peripheral nerve block, which is performed the day of surgery to help control pain after surgery.
A peripheral nerve block is a way to treat pain. We use local anesthetic (numbing medicine) to block feelings of pain from a specific area of the body, such as your foot or ankle. Our anesthesia team will perform your block on the day of surgery, prior to heading back to the operating room.
Prior to surgery, a local anesthetic is injected near a nerve to numb the area of your body you had surgery on, such as your foot or ankle. Anesthesia will use ultrasound guidance to ensure the proper placement of the anesthetic.
When a nerve block injection is first given:
Most nerve block injections numb the area for 12 to 24 hours. Some may last up to 36 hours.As the nerve block begins to wear off, you will feel start to feel some discomfort.
A nerve block helps reduce pain, but it will not fully numb the area. Plan to use both medicine and non-medicine methods to help control your pain as you recover from your surgery. Non-medicine methods include:
Realistic goals for pain control are to prevent severe pain and keep pain at a lower level. Most people have mild to moderate pain with activity while they are recovering from surgery.
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