Nerve Block Discharge Instructions
Pain relief after surgery is an important part of the recovery process. When you are not in pain, you will have a more comfortable recovery and return to your normal activities faster.
A nerve block numbs your surgical area. It does not affect the entire body like narcotic medications. Every person responds to pain differently. Some surgeries are more painful than others. Therefore, your doctor may prescribe additional pain medications to take by mouth.
It is always best to take pain medicine as soon as you feel pain. It is more difficult to treat pain as it becomes more severe.
The nerve block will wear off slowly over 8-24 hours. It is normal for the area to have no feeling. It is also normal not to be able to move your arm or leg during this time. You will feel some tingling and return of movement as the block wears off.
If numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness last longer than 48 hours, you should call the number provided on your discharge papers.
Because your arm or leg is numb, you need to take special care to protect it until the nerve block wears off.
Check your arm or leg often and when you change positions. Be sure your arm or leg is not pinched and there is not too much pressure on it.
Be careful around things that are hot or cold. You may not feel the heat or cold on your skin.
If you have a reaction to the medicine in the nerve block such as: confusion, ringing in the ears and/or tingling around the lips, call the number provided on your discharge papers.
The following side effects pertain only to the Interscalene Nerve Block: (located on the side of your neck):
It is common to have a scratchy/hoarse voice, feel like you cannot take a deep breath, and for one side of your face and eyelid to droop.
These symptoms should last for 8-24 hours.
If numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness last longer than 48 hours you should call the number provided on your discharge papers.