How Long Does A Nerve Block Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 to 3 days

Not everybody goes through surgery in their lifetime, but most of them do. There are surgeries done to take care of internal health problems, while some can be done to patch up the wounds and disastrous consequences that one experiences physically due to some accident they were in. There are all sorts of accidents in the world, but the wounds from only some can be patched up. Without surgery, whether the injury or problem is internal or external, it can be a great danger to the life of the person. It is hence always better to go for a medical check-up to the hospital and get everything straight.

When some get a full medical health check-up, not everybody will like what they find out. Some might need surgery after a certain period, while some must have surgery immediately to save their lives. The same goes for accidental traumas. Yet, whatever the problem might be, the reaction of the patient is the same. They are always afraid about the pain and just like there is a solution for everything, instead of giving pain killers to reduce the pain, doctors sometimes perform simple methods and procedures that will the areas that need to be mended.

How Long Does A Nerve Block Last?

StagesTime
To perform a single nerve block5 to 15 minutes
Nerve block starts working in15 to 45 minutes
Nerve blocks last for 1 to 5 days

The technique of numbing any part of a person’s body is known as a nerve block, or more technically, a neural blockade. This is the method that will make the person experience the loss of feeling in certain areas where the procedure is performed. Yet, how long it lasts, depends on various factors.

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The neural blockade is a method of introducing anesthesia into the whole body or the necessary parts, and when the anesthesia is introduced, it will numb the whole body or apart, which will help in pain control. The method of nerve blocks can be both non-surgical and surgical. Surgical nerve blocks can be messy, but non-surgical methods are much simpler. In the non-surgical method, the specific single nerve or a bundle of nerves are injected with the medication.

This will stop the impulses from the nerves reach the CNS, the central nervous system, which determines the feeling as pain and sends the signal to the brain.

Why Does A Nerve Block Last That Long?

Once the nerve bundles are injected, the medication starts working, and the impulses will not reach the CNS, which will cut off the sensation of pain. Sometimes one might feel entirely numb, while some might feel the sensation described as “pins and needles”. Yet in the surgical method, certain nerves are cut off or destroyed completely, so that they don’t send out the signals impulses to the central nervous system. Sometimes, the nerve block is the only remedy for the pain, and sometimes the medication injected as a nerve block may be combined with some other anesthetic.

Usually, it takes about 1 to 4 days for the nerve block to wear off completely if it was done in the nonsurgical method, and if it was done surgically, the nerves must be repaired before they become useless, unless they were destroyed before. The healing time can take different times. Yet, most of the time, surgical nerve blocks are permanent. Sometimes the numbness can even last for 2 weeks.

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Conclusion

First, the syringe is filled with the medication and injected into the nerve that must be numbed. A nerve catheter is placed in the vein which will keep supplying the medication that keeps the area numb, and once it has done its job, the catheter will be removed. It only takes about a minute to insert a needle, but the whole process can take from five to twenty minutes, as the time the body takes to become numb depends on the individual.

Though the process is around 20 minutes, it can take from 15 to 45 minutes for the area to completely become numb. It depends on the body’s response to the medication, and the doctors will make sure if it works before they wheel off the patient to the OR.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/bja/article-abstract/105/suppl_1/i97/235950
  2. https://journals.lww.com/anesthesia-analgesia/fulltext/1998/07000/Peripheral_Nerve_Blocks_Improve_Analgesia_After.20.aspx
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