Nerve Blocks: Part II. Lower Extremity

Jacqueline L Yurgil, Chad D Hulsopple, Jeffrey C Leggit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Family physicians use anesthesia to provide diagnostic and procedural analgesia for conditions such as neuropathies, fracture reduction, foreign body removals, and complex wound management. Local infiltration of anesthetics is commonly used in this setting because of the ease of use, safety, and effectiveness of the procedure. Nerve blocks are a specific regional anesthesia technique that blocks nerve function distal to the injection site. An understanding of the sensory distribution of the peripheral nervous system is essential in determining the safest and most effective nerve block for the procedure. There are various nerve block techniques, including landmark-guided and ultrasound-guided. Ultrasound guidance increases the effectiveness of the nerve block while decreasing complications when compared with other techniques. Depending on the required area of anesthesia for the procedure, various points throughout the lower extremity can be used to block the lateral femoral cutaneous, common peroneal, saphenous, tibial, deep peroneal, superficial peroneal, and sural nerves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-679
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anesthesia, Local/methods
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity/anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Block/methods
  • Pain Management/methods
  • Ultrasonography/methods


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