Bier Block

Bier block is a procedure used to treat chronic pain in the arms or legs.  Patients with chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) may benefit from a Bier block. 

This procedure is done in the operating room under anesthesia. Your child will not feel any pain during this procedure.

Your child should have nothing to eat or drink for eight hours prior to the procedure.  Have your child wear comfortable, loose clothing on the day of the procedure.  Expect to stay for several hours at the hospital.

You and your child will come to Same Day Surgery the day of the procedure.  We will check you into the hospital and give your child a hospital gown to wear. Before the procedure, your doctor will:

  1. Review the procedure
  2. Answer any questions you might have about the Bier block
  3. Have a consent form for the procedure for you to sign

From Same Day Surgery, your child will go to the operating room. He / she will get anesthesia medicine that puts your child to sleep. The procedure will not start until your child is asleep.

Here are the steps that occur in the operating room.  A Bier block usually takes about one hour.

  1. The doctor will put a cuff on the upper part of the limb.
  2. An IV is placed in the same limb.  A second IV is placed in another extremity.
  3. The limb is raised in the air to help drain the blood, and the limb is wrapped to help drain the blood out through the IV. 
  4. The cuff is inflated and the doctor puts the numbing medicine into the limb. 
  5. The numbing medicine is left in the limb for a specific amount of time before the cuff is deflated. The doctor will decide how long the cuff stays inflated.

Once the Bier block is done, the doctor will come out and talk with you.  Your child will still be asleep. After the procedure, your child will go to an area, called the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).  In the PACU, your child will wake up from the sleeping medicine. A nurse will come to the waiting area and invite you to your child’s bedside.  The amount of time children spend in the PACU varies, but is usually about an hour.

Children usually have no pain when they wake up. 

Once your child is awake and comfortable, you can go home.  The arm or leg that was treated will feel numb, heavy, and may have a burning feeling.  There should be little or no pain.

At home, your child should stay quiet for the rest of the day.  Increase activities slowly over the next few days, based on how your child feels.  It is important to visit the pain clinic two weeks after the Bier block.  Call 513-636-7768 to schedule your child’s visit.

Call the doctor if your child has:

  • Fever above 101 degrees
  • Prolonged numbness in the arm or leg (longer than 24 hours)

If you have any concerns about your child’s recovery, call our office.

Last Updated 03/2014