Nerve blocks are a way to help reduce pain and discomfort after surgery. Nerve blocks are performed by injecting numbing medication around the nerves that carry painful sensation from an arm or leg. In almost all pediatric patients nerve blocks are used together with general anesthesia for surgical procedures.
Depending on the age of the patient, nerve blocks can be performed while the patient is still awake or, more commonly, after the patient is asleep under general anesthesia.
The exact place where numbing medication is injected depends on where the surgical procedure is performed. For procedures on the shoulder, arm, elbow, or hand, injections may be made at the side of the neck, below or above the collar bone, or in the armpit. For procedures on the leg, knee, or foot, injections may be made in the groin, the buttocks, the thigh, or the back or side of the leg.
The anesthesiologist will discuss with you which nerve block will work best for your child and its benefits and risks.