Learning About a Femoral Nerve Block

Picture showing location of femoral nerve

What is a femoral nerve block?

A femoral nerve block is an injection of numbing medicine around the femoral nerve. This nerve runs from your spine all the way down your hip and leg. The nerve sends movement and feeling signals to and from that part of your body.

The nerve block usually goes into your groin area. It's used to numb the leg and knee for surgery and to help with pain after surgery.

A nerve block is usually used along with medicine that makes you sleep during the surgery.

How is a femoral nerve block done?

The doctor may use ultrasound to help guide the nerve block needle.

After finding the right spot, the doctor injects a numbing medicine into the skin near where you will get the nerve block. Then he or she puts the nerve block needle into the numbed area. You may feel some pressure. But you should not feel pain.

What can you expect after a femoral nerve block?

The shot will leave your leg partly or totally numb for a while. Your doctor will tell you how long.

You will need someone to drive you home.

As the block wears off, you will start to feel some pain from the surgery. Be sure to take your pain medicines before the pain gets bad.

Problems from a nerve block are rare. There is a small risk of problems like seizures, heart problems, damage to nerves, infection, or bleeding. The benefits usually outweigh these risks.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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