A peripheral nerve block is a type of regional anesthesia. It can completely block sensation in an arm, leg or other area for surgery. A peripheral nerve block doesn't put you to sleep. However, a nerve block can be combined with sedation or general anesthesia during surgery.
Before you are given anesthesia, your doctor considers your health and your medical history. You will be asked about any medications you use, and any allergies you may have. You will be asked about your past experiences with anesthesia. This ensures your safety. A peripheral nerve block is injected with a needle. The site of the injection depends on the part of the body being treated. The needle is placed near a cluster of nerves that serve as a pathway for pain signals. The medicine blocks sensation along these nerves. After your surgery, your treated limb will feel numb. It may feel heavy or weak. You may have trouble controlling your limb. You may need to use a sling or crutches while the anesthetic wears off. The effects of a peripheral nerve block can last for several hours after the injection. Your doctor can tell you how long the effects of your particular injection should last.