Patient Information Resources

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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I'm going to have a total knee replacement next week. The doctor asked me if I want a nerve block before the operation to help stop the pain after the operation. What are the chances of ending up with permanent nerve damage from this?

It's possible but not likely. Studies show permanent nerve damage after nerve blocks is very low. In fact when nerve damage occurs, most patients recover completely within three months' time. Minor long-term problems can occur such as mild muscle weakness or a small patch of numbness.

Ask your doctor what his or her experience has been using nerve blocks. Find out what other problems can occur and how often this happens. Consider the benefits of a preoperative nerve block: less pain and less use of morphine or other painkillers after the operation.

Studies show a single-injection femoral nerve block is a simple and safe way to reduce pain after total knee replacement.


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