A huge component to patient care is helping the patient and their caretaker or loved ones feel included and informed in the medical process. By explaining what will take place and providing answers to as many of their questions as we can, we have a positive impact on recovery in many cases. At Maverick, we want to be a resource you can fall back on when your patients pose questions about nerve blocks. Even if you have these answers, it is helpful to know what your patient may ask.
What is a nerve block?
A nerve block is a type of anesthesia where an injection in most cases is done to prevent feeling or pain in a specific area of the body. In some instances, a nerve block is more invasive and is surgical in nature. The nerves are cut or damaged to prevent them from sending the pain transmission through the neural system.
How long does a nerve block last?
This varies widely from case to case. Some nerve blocks are only designed to last for hours while others are used to prevent or reduce pain for a day or more. In some cases, a pain management technique that leaves a catheter in place, can prevent pain for multiple days. This can be helpful post-surgery and eliminates the need for oral pain medication.
Are nerve blocks only for medical procedures?
Not at all. While nerve blocks are used frequently for medical procedures, like surgery or childbirth, they can also be used to reduce or prevent pain for regular activities. Pain management specialists can meet with a patient, evaluate their pain, isolate where the pain is coming from, and create a treatment plan that may include nerve blocks that can be done in office.
What are side effects of a nerve block?
In some cases, an infection or bleeding may occur at the injection site. Others may experience pain at the injection site or light bruising. Occasionally, there could be damage to the nerves or the wrong nerve could be blocked. This is why the training and experience our courses provide is so important. We provide the content knowledge and the guided practice our Mavericks need to learn every technique.
Is a nerve block safe?
There are always risks when undergoing medical procedures. That being said, nerve blocks can be very safe and can be great alternatives to general anesthesia or being prescribed opioids which have a number of risks associated with them. Making sure the nerve block is done right and that the procedure is done in a sterile manner are the most important factors to a safe nerve block.
How do you know where to do the block?
With training, practice, experience, and guidance of exterior markers, some nerve blocks become fairly routine. Other nerve blocks are assisted with ultrasound guidance to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient. Markers are still used in ultrasound guided blocks, but we use internal markers in addition to those exterior markers on your body.
To learn more about the nerve blocks we can teach you as a pain management specialist and to learn how to best care for your community and their needs, contact us today. We are excited to see a growing interest in what we are passionate about and will be offering a number of courses soon.