Surgical shoulder procedures are known to be very severe and invasive for patients. During surgery, general anesthesia is administered to patients for analgesia, but post-operative pain can be just as problematic. Many physicians choose to perform nerve blocks before or after surgery to assist the patient with pain relief during the procedure and their rehabilitation period.
An interscalene block is a procedure in which a patient receives a local anesthetic injection into the area of the brachial plexus (network of nerves which are located from the spine into the neck and arm area) that temporarily disables feeling in and movement of the shoulder and upper arm. An interscalene nerve block is usually administered to provide analgesia during or immediately after a shoulder, elbow, or upper arm surgery.
How is a Interscalene Block Performed?
Conditions Related To Interscalene Block
An interscalene block is regularly recommended by physicians to patients who are scheduled to undergo any type of painful arm, elbow, or shoulder surgery. The local anesthetic administered into the area of the brachial plexus immobilizes the upper extremity that is being operated on, allowing the patient to experience a more comfortable surgical procedure. Interscalene blocks are also beneficial after upper extremity surgery, when patients can experience extreme pain during the rehabilitation process.
For patients faced with an upper extremity surgery, a physician frequently schedules an interscalene block procedure to assist with analgesia and inflammation before or after the surgery. The interscalene block is usually accompanied by a mild sedative to maintain healthy blood pressure and heart rate levels. A sedative can also aid the patient in being more relaxed and comfortable during the interscalene block treatment and surgery. Most patients who undergo an interscalene block will still feel the effects of the injection for up to 24 hours after the upper extremity surgery has been completed. If pain persists after surgery, the physician may recommend further injections to assist with analgesia during rehabilitation.
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