Twitter Facebook Google Plus YouTube LinkedIn Instagram
Show telephone contact numbers
Hide telephone contact numbers
General enquiries:
+44 (0)207 935 4444
Book an appointment:
+44 (0)207 616 7693
Self-pay enquiry:
+44 (0)203 219 3315

What is a peripheral nerve block?

A peripheral nerve block is a type of regional anaesthetic that involves injecting local anaesthetics and other painkillers near the major nerves to your arm (upper limb).

How does a nerve block work?

A nerve block works by temporarily numbing your nerves to give pain relief. Local anaesthetics and other painkillers are injected, using a fine needle, near the nerves to your arm. You may need more than one injection.

A nerve block can be used instead of a general anaesthetic for the operation, and is also an effective form of pain relief afterwards. Depending on the operation, the injection may be given in the side of your neck, or near your collarbone or armpit, or in your elbow, forearm or wrist.

Figure showing a peripheral nerve block

What does the procedure involve?

Your anaesthetist will usually use an ultrasound scanner or nerve stimulator to help guide them where to inject the anaesthetic.

Your anaesthetist will insert the needle and when they are certain that it is in the right position they will inject anaesthetic through it. They will usually remove the needle.

Sometimes your anaesthetist may insert a small tube through the needle before they remove it, leaving the tube in place so they can inject more anaesthetic.

What effect does a nerve block have?

A nerve block has two main effects.

  • Pain relief – The nerve block numbs the sensory nerves responsible for pain and touch.
  • Weakness – The nerves supplying muscles may also be affected.

What complications can happen?

Some of these can be serious and can even cause death.

  • Change in your breathing
  • Failure of the nerve block
  • Allergic reaction
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Visual disturbance or loss of vision
  • Local anaesthetic toxicity
  • Pneumothorax
  • Droopy eyelid on the side of the nerve block
  • Developing a hoarse voice

Why choose The London Clinic?

The London Clinic is dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with over 600 world-renowned consultants available to offer informed health advice and treatment.

Spanning Harley Street and Devonshire Place, The London Clinic is situated in the heart of London’s internationally-known medical district. This central location, together with state-of-the art technologies and facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, makes The London Clinic the hospital of choice for around 120,000 patients every year.

The London Clinic is an HTA licensed and JACIE accredited cancer centre with an ‘Excellent’ MacMillan Quality Environment Mark and with access to a Level 3 intensive care unit.

Offering affordable and competitive self-pay packages and expert support from Clinical Nurse Specialists and our specialised multidisciplinary team, over 98% of our patients said they would recommend The London Clinic to their friends and families.

Summary

A peripheral upper limb nerve block can be used for most people, usually giving a safe and effective form of pain relief both during and after the operation.

Disclaimer

The operation and treatment information on this website is published under license by The London Clinic from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

Medical Admissions

A nurse with a patient

Facilitating acute admissions into The London Clinic whilst maintaining the highest levels of safety and care, supported by a consultant on-call rota.

Concierge service

Chauffeur loading suitcases into a luxury car

We can support our patients with travel, hotel accommodation, London tours, plus theatre and restaurant reservations.

Close menu

Main numbers

General enquiries: 020 7935 4444 Appointments: 020 7616 7693 Self-Pay: 020 3219 3315

Contact numbers for service departments

Other numbers

Concierge service: 020 3219 3323International office: 020 3219 3266Invoice and payment enquiries: 020 7616 7708Press office 020 7616 7676

Your call may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

Close menu