Regional Anesthesia is used to desensitize a precise part of the body to painful stimulus. Advances in anesthesia techniques and ultrasound-guided imaging have made regional anesthetics effective both for pain management and as a primary anesthesia modality for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. Patients can receive regional anesthesia in most areas of the body, including the upper and lower extremities and torso. The most common nerve blocks are summarized below.
Adductor Canal Block:
The adductor canal block is used to desensitize the top of the knee to surgical pain. This kind of nerve block may be recommended by your surgeon or anesthesia provider for total knee replacement surgeries. This block has the advantage of reducing the sensation of pain to the surgical area while not effecting your muscle strength, which allows for continued participation in postoperative therapies and regular movement.
Interscalene Nerve Block:
The interscalene nerve block is administered to provide anesthesia to the shoulder, part of the clavicle, and upper arm. It is commonly used for surgeries of the shoulder, rotator cuff, and humerus. Numbing effects from the interscalene block will still be present up to 24 hours after your surgical procedure. Don’t be alarmed if you can’t move your arm during this time; it’s not uncommon for patients to have little to no mobility in their upper extremities.
Transversus Abdominis Plane (TAP) Block
A transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block is a technique used to inject anesthesia into a space in your abdominal muscles on your side, which will block the nerves from sending any pain signals from your incision and help control pain after surgery. These blocks may be used as a pain adjunct after abdominal surgeries including cesarean sections, hernia repairs, and robotic surgeries.