Useful Information

Showering Instructions | Femoral Nerve Block | Peripheral Nerve Block

Showering Instructions Before Surgery

Please follow these directions to help remove germs which could cause an infection after surgery.

The entire body, including your hair, should be washed two times before surgery. Shower the night before and again in the morning before coming to the hospital or surgery center.

Please use the following steps:

  1. Wet your body, including hair, with warm water.
  2. Wash your hair with your own shampoo and rinse.
  3. Wash your face with your own soap and rinse.
  4. Wash the rest of your body, from your jaw line down, with the Chlorhexidine Gluconate soap. Use 1 oz. (1/4 the solution). DO NOT get the soap in your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth. DO NOT wash genital areas with Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution! Rinse When Complete.
  5. Repeat step 4 using another 1 oz. (1/4 the solution) to your body, again from your jaw line down.
  6. Rinse thoroughly after the second application.
  7. Dry hair and body with a clean towel.

After your evening shower, sleep in clean, freshly washed pajamas and/or sheets. After your morning shower, dress in clean, freshly washed clothes.

Femoral Nerve Block

Femoral nerve block: Indicated for post-operative pain relief for surgeries involving the lower extremity.

Benefits

  • Decreased pain medication requirements
  • Reduced risk of post-operative nausea/vomiting
  • Less post-operative sedation
  • Possible earlier discharge home

Normal and expected side effects

Numbness, weakness, tingling, and/or heaviness of the thigh, knee, and inside of the ankle and foot. This usually lasts 8-12 hours, but can last up to 24-36 hours.

Normal Course

All anesthetic nerve blocks take different lengths of time to wear off for each individual patient. You should be aware that pain is also individual to each patient. The signs or symptoms that tell you your block is wearing off may include:

  • Tingling, feeling of “pins and needles”
  • Increased sensation and power to the affected part
  • Discomfort or pain

Pain Control

As the numbness wears off and you are able to tolerate food and drink by mouth, it is recommended to start taking the prescription pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication as directed by your surgeon. This is to allow for a smooth transition from the nerve block to oral medication for pain relief. This also helps avoid unpleasant pain when the nerve block wears off (which can be in the middle of the night).

Recommendations

  • DO NOT bear weight on your affected leg until the block has completely worn off
  • Use your crutches as instructed by your surgeon
  • Wear your brace as instructed by your surgeon
  • Do not allow ice to sit directly on your skin for longer than 20 minutes

Peripheral Nerve Block

Interscalene Block: Indicated for post-operative pain relief for surgeries involving the shoulder and upper arm.

Benefits Include:

  • Decreased pain medication requirements
  • Reduced risk of nausea/vomiting and sedation
  • Earlier discharge home

Pain Control: A numb and often immobile shoulder/upper arm is expected to last 8-12 hours after surgery. This sensation can vary depending on type of local anesthetic used and the individual person.

Once the numbness wears off and you are able to tolerate food and drink by mouth, it is recommended to start taking the prescription pain medication ordered by your surgeon. This is to avoid unpleasant pain at the time when the nerve block begins to wear off (which can be in the middle of the night).

Management of the “Numb” Arm:

  • You should wear a sling on the affected extremity until return of sensory/motor function, or as ordered by your surgeon.
  • Avoid use of affected extremity until return of sensory/motor function or as ordered by your surgeon.
  • Take extreme caution near hot surfaces or other potentially painful situations. Keep extremity well protected and padded for duration of numbness. This will prevent unrecognized pressure from being placed on the arm that could result in injury.

Potential Side Effects:

  • Droopy eyelid/slightly blurred vision on the affected side
  • Voice hoarseness/Difficulty swallowing water
  • Mild shortness of breath

Most side effects are related to the local anesthetic spreading and numbing the nerves adjacent to the ones that supply the shoulder and arm. These effects will resolve spontaneously as the local anesthetic wears off.