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Overview of peripheral nerve blocks

Christina L Jeng, MD
Meg A Rosenblatt, MD
Section Editor
Robert Maniker, MD
Deputy Editor
Marianna Crowley, MD


Peripheral nerve blocks (PNB) are widely-used for surgical anesthesia as well as for both postoperative and nonsurgical analgesia. PNBs offer distinct benefits over general or neuraxial anesthesia in certain clinical situations [1]. In addition, PNBs provide analgesia that may be superior to other techniques for some patients.

This topic will discuss aspects of PNBs that are common to multiple blocks. Issues specific to particular blocks are discussed separately:

Upper extremity blocks:

Interscalene block – (See "Upper extremity nerve blocks: Techniques", section on 'Interscalene block'.)

Supraclavicular block – (See "Upper extremity nerve blocks: Techniques", section on 'Supraclavicular block'.)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 16, 2017.
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