A radial nerve block is a procedure performed to numb the hands using a local anesthetic which is done via injection. The primary goal of this procedure is to numb the radial nerves, which traverse along the forearms which the thumb is located on. The radial nerves help give the back of the hand sensation spreading from the third finger to the thumb.
The radial nerve block procedure is done prior to surgery being performed on the hand or fingers. This procedure is unique as it can be done on numerous locations of the radial nerves, not just one particular location. The procedure can also be done in tandem with other injections or block procedures as well. In addition to that, radial nerve blocks can serve as a form of anesthetic before a surgical procedure as well as to help provide pain relief following a surgical procedure.
For the procedure, the patient will lie in a comfortable position which allows for access to the wrist. Prior to the injection, the area will be sterilized using antiseptic solution. Once that is done, a needle is then inserted through the wrist into the radial nerve and the anesthetic is then injected. The purpose of the anesthetic is to numb the radial nerve and as the name of the procedure suggests, block any feeling of sensation in the hands and fingers. This blockage can last for a period of several hours.
Once the injection takes place, the needle is then removed, hence the procedure is completed. It is at this point that any surgery required for the hands will be performed as the hands and fingers will be numb for several hours. The procedure is relatively simple and patients are released on the same day, unless other procedures were performed on that day. Patients may be provided with prescriptions for pain medication in the event they should experience any type of pain following the procedure.