Nerve Blocks: Part I. Upper Extremity

Jacqueline L Yurgil, Chad D Hulsopple, Jeffrey C Leggit
American Family Physician 2020 June 1, 101 (11): 654-664
Procedural anesthesia is administered by family physicians for a variety of conditions, including neuropathies, fracture reduction, foreign body removals, and complex wound management. A nerve block may be preferred because it provides effective regional anesthesia with less anesthetic. Nerve blocks require a thorough understanding of relevant anatomy, aiding the physician in optimizing the anesthesia effect while minimizing complications. Nerve blocks can be guided by bony landmarks, peripheral nerve stimulation, or ultrasonography. Ultrasound-guided nerve blocks are superior in decreasing procedural complications and procedure time. Physicians should be aware of these techniques to appropriately counsel their patients on procedural options. Nerve blocks of the ulnar, median, and radial nerves at the wrist and elbow provide effective anesthesia for a wide range of medical procedures in the upper extremity.

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