Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Learning About Peripheral Nerve Blocks in Children

Main Content

Learning About Peripheral Nerve Blocks in Children

What is a peripheral nerve block?

A peripheral nerve block is a shot of numbing medicine near a specific nerve or group of nerves. It can be used to numb a part of the body (often an arm or a leg) for a procedure. It may also help control pain after the procedure.

What are some common types of peripheral nerve blocks?

Some common types of peripheral nerve blocks include femoral, popliteal, and brachial plexus blocks. A femoral block numbs most of the leg. A popliteal block numbs most of the lower leg and foot. A brachial plexus block numbs the shoulder, arm, and hand.

How is it done?

Your child will get medicines to help your child relax, feel sleepy, or go to sleep.

The doctor may use ultrasound or another way to help guide the needle for the nerve block.

After finding the right spot, the doctor uses a tiny needle to numb the skin. The doctor puts the nerve block needle into the numbed area. Then the numbing medicine is put near the nerves. If your child is awake, they may feel some pressure. But they should not feel pain.

How do you prepare?

You'll get instructions to help you prepare. They'll tell you what to expect at the hospital. They'll also tell you when your child should stop eating, drinking, or breastfeeding. And they'll tell you when to stop any medicines. If your child feels nervous, ask your doctor about ways to help them relax.

What should you tell the anesthesia specialist before the procedure?

Tell the specialist about any health problems your child has. Tell them about your child's past surgeries. Also let them know if a family member had problems with anesthesia. Give them a list of any medicines and natural health products your child takes.

What are the risks?

Problems after a nerve block are not common. There is a small risk of nerve damage, infection, or bleeding. In rare cases, the medicines used can cause more serious problems, such as heart and breathing problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter S626 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Peripheral Nerve Blocks in Children".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.