Nerve Blocks: Part I. Upper Extremity

Jacqueline L Yurgil, Chad D Hulsopple, Jeffrey C Leggit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Procedural anesthesia is administered by family physicians for a variety of conditions, including neuropathies, fracture reduction, foreign body removals, and complex wound management. A nerve block may be preferred because it provides effective regional anesthesia with less anesthetic. Nerve blocks require a thorough understanding of relevant anatomy, aiding the physician in optimizing the anesthesia effect while minimizing complications. Nerve blocks can be guided by bony landmarks, peripheral nerve stimulation, or ultrasonography. Ultrasound-guided nerve blocks are superior in decreasing procedural complications and procedure time. Physicians should be aware of these techniques to appropriately counsel their patients on procedural options. Nerve blocks of the ulnar, median, and radial nerves at the wrist and elbow provide effective anesthesia for a wide range of medical procedures in the upper extremity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-664
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Humans
  • Nerve Block/methods
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation/methods
  • Ultrasonography/methods
  • Upper Extremity/anatomy & histology


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