Peripheral nerve block - Lower limb - The Edinburgh Clinic

Peripheral Nerve Block – Lower Limb

This page contains valuable information about a peripheral nerve block (lower limb). However if you still have questions after reading it, please ask your doctor or other health professional for more details.

About peripheral nerve block

A peripheral nerve block is an injection given to numb the nerves in the leg. It is a form of regional anaesthetic and is typically administered with other painkillers.

You can receive a nerve block while you are conscious, sedated, or alongside a spinal or general anaesthetic. For leg operations, it is likely you will receive either a spinal or general anaesthetic. In such cases, a nerve block may be given as an addition to the anaesthetic for pain relief following the operation. 

There are five areas where the injection can be administered: behind the knee or thigh, in the foot or ankle, or near the groin.

Figure 1
Peripheral nerve block

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About the procedure

The anaesthetist will need to locate where to place the injection. This is usually identified using a nerve stimulator and an ultrasound scanner.

The injection of anaesthetic will be made using the identified entry site. The anaesthetist may also insert a small tube with the needle which can remain in position for future anaesthetic applications.

Are there any side-effects?

  • Failure for the nerve block to work
  • Allergic reaction
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to the nerve
  • Local anaesthetic toxicity


A peripheral nerve block is a safe way of providing a patient with pain relief. 


EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare. 

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.