The anesthesiologist just called me about tomorrow's surgery to ask if I wanted her to administer the nerve block before surgery (saying it lasts longer that way) or the doctor to do it during surgery (lasting maybe 10 hours less, supposedly). I don't know. I am pretty sure he administered it last time (in Jan) and I did fine. But she seems insistent that she should do it, I told her to ask the doctor and I will defer to him. BUt she may not be able to contact him in time before the surgery so I'd appreciate advice if anyone has some.
I had a sciatic nerve block before my last 2 surgeries. The first one, I didn't feel as though I was properly sedated and it was not a pleasant experience. When I spoke with the anesthesiologist before the last surgery I had, I told him I was not interested in the nerve block because of the experience I had with it the last time. I asked him if it was necessary, and he told me no, but suggested I get it. He promised to give me more sedation while they were performing it, and I don't remember a thing. He told me that they are unable to do the particular block I was having done while I was under general anesthesia because they have to watch for muscle twitches in you leg and thigh.
My leg and foot were numb for a good 36 hours, which is obviously wonderful for pain relief.
Not sure where your nerve block is going, but I had a nerve block in my ankle for hallux limitus / hallux rigidus surgery (big toe). The block was administered in the OR after I had been sedated (twilight, not general). The block did not wear off for 30 hours (7:30am on day of surgery to 3PM the next day).
I am now three weeks post surgery and want to report that all went well, despite the surgery taking an extra hour due to my big toe continuing to stick upwards. The doctor finally cut the tendon and it then reclined.
What I am writing to say is that the nerve block worked GREAT! I kind of wanted everything to go as last time (surgery in Jan 2011) and that anesthesiologist administered the block after I entered the operating room so I was unaware of the procedure, but a different anesthesiologist who was working this surgery told me the block would be of shorter duration (maybe 12 hours at most) if she did it during surgery compared to having relief from pain for more than 24 hours if she gave it to me beforehand.
I questioned why and she said it is a different medication. The reason I hesitated was that when they give it to you first, you are not yet out and I read somewhere that it can be painful if it hits a nerve. I was leaning towards waiting until I was in the operating room and my surgeon said I could do it either way--my call--but when I asked if he would have it administered first, if he was having my surgery, he said yes, definitely.
So I remember the anesthesiologist (actually a nurse with credentials at this surgery center) asking me to turn over so she could find the right spot, and she said she was giving me happy juice, and that is all I recall. No pain then, and NO PAIN for 30 hours after the surgery. It was a miracle procedure for me and I hope the same for anyone else who uses it.
I had a previous surgery about five years ago and no one mentioned a nerve block then and when I got home, my foot really hurt! So my advice is that if you are offered a nerve block to mask foot pain after foot surgery, Go ahead and get it.
I've had 3 foot surgeries and only had a block with the last one in June, 2011. I;m not sure I would do that again. The feeling while it was wearing off kept me awake all night that night and was very uncomfortable and the pain meds couldn't make a dent in it.
Personally for me, I could not imagine NOT having a nerve block. I have had two foot surgeries and have had a popliteal nerve block for both surgeries. For the first surgery, I was completely out when they did the block. For the second, I was given versed and did not feel pain but remember my calf and foot spasms.