Mechanisms of Neurologic Complications with Peripheral Nerve Blocks

  • Alain Borgeat
  • Stephan Blumenthal
  • Admir Hadžić


Although there are relatively few published reports of anesthesia-related nerve injury associated with the use of peripheral nerve blocks (PNBs), it is likely that the commonly cited incidence (0.4%) of severe injury is underestimated because of underreporting.1, 2, 3 The less frequent clinical application of lower-extremity nerve blocks may be the main reason that there are even fewer reports of anesthesia-related nerve injury associated with lower-extremity PNBs as compared with upper-extremity PNBs. Although neurologic complications after PNBs can be related to a variety of factors related to the block (e.g., needle trauma, intraneuronal injection, neuronal ischemia, and toxicity of local anesthetics), a search for other common causes should also include surgical factors (e.g., positioning, stretching, retractor injury, ischemia, and hematoma formation). In some instances, the neurologic injury may be a result of a combination of these factors.


Peripheral Nerve Nerve Injury Sciatic Nerve Nerve Block Neurologic Injury 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Borgeat
    • 1
  • Stephan Blumenthal
    • 1
  • Admir Hadžić
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyOrthopedic University Hospital BalgristZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital CenterColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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