3 Types of Regional Anesthesia
Peripheral Nerve Blocks
A needle or catheter is placed along the path of nerves to your arm or leg. Numbing medicine is injected to provide 4 to 20 hours of pain relief. If a peripheral nerve block catheter is used, numbing medicine is given continuously to prevent pain for days— plus you will have a button to safely give yourself more numbing as you need it. Always, you will have back-up pain medicines available by mouth or your IV.
A needle is placed between the bones of the back for injection of pain relieving medicines. Sometimes, epidural pain medicine specially formulated to last two days is injected through this needle. Other times, a better choice is a small catheter left in place. Then, continuous numbing and pain relieving medicines given through this epidural catheter (along with a button for extra doses) will help prevent pain. In either case, you can lie, sit, and usually walk with an epidural. Commonly, we use this catheter for several days during your recovery--usually until you are able to take pills to easily control pain.
A thin needle is placed between the bones of your back, and a single injection of numbing medicines is made to numb both legs. We choose spinal medicines that last from 1 to 8 hours, depending on the predicted length of your surgery and your recovery plans.