Continuous Catheter Nerve Blocks
What are continuous catheter nerve blocks?
Continuous catheter nerve blocks can help with all types of pain. Continuous peripheral nerve infusions involve the placement of a small catheter under the skin near a peripheral nerve in order to provide a continuous supply of an analgesic medication for pain relief.
How continuous catheter nerve blocks work
The placement of catheters typically takes less than 15 minutes and is done in a way to minimize complications. Your physician will first cleanse the skin and may provide IV sedation. Then the local anesthetic is placed into your skin, and a needle is placed through the anesthetized tissue. Using nerve stimulation with twitch-monitor or ultrasound guidance your physician will place the needle next to the desired nerve. Then the catheter is advanced through the needle into the correct location.
The needle is then withdrawn and the catheter remains in place. Your physician will adhere the catheter to the skin using a bandage and liquid adhesive to ensure the catheter will not dislodge. A small container holding the medication, typically the size of a softball, is attached to the catheter and kept in a carrying pouch. This will provide a constant stream of a local anesthetic and other medications to the source of pain. Your physician will then most likely remove the catheter in five to seven days following placement.