JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Transthecal digital block: an underutilized technique in the ED

Raymond G Hart, Francisco A S Fernandas, Joseph E Kutz
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2005, 23 (3): 340-2
15915410
The transthecal digital block is a simple, safe, and effective anesthesia technique that can be used in many digital injuries. It is contraindicated only in cases of infection. The purposes of this article are to (1) discuss the indications for the transthecal digital block, (2) describe the technique, and (3) review the literature. The transthecal technique is used on appropriate patients almost to the exclusion of more traditional digital blocks by many hand surgeons. The advantages of this method are that it requires only a single injection, has a rapid onset of action, and requires only a small amount of anesthetic. It also has virtually no risk of direct mechanical trauma to the neurovascular bundles. This technique has been shown to be exceptionally effective. We encourage emergency physicians to use the transthecal technique when indicated.

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