Peripheral Nerve Blocks of the Foot

Treatment Information

What is peripheral nerve block of the foot?

A peripheral nerve block of the foot is an injection of a small amount of local anesthetic and steroid to block one or more of the nerves that supply feeling to the foot. This is useful in the evaluation and management of foot pain.


Why would a peripheral nerve block of the foot be performed?

A peripheral nerve block of the foot may be performed if you are experiencing pain, numbness, and/or tingling in your foot area. This block may be performed in a series of up to five (5) blocks in a row depending on your condition.


What are reasons NOT to do a peripheral nerve block of the foot?

A peripheral nerve block will NOT be performed if you have an active infection at the site of injection, allergy to the local anesthetics and steroid, and/or pregnancy.


What are the preparations for the procedure?

No special preparations are required for this procedure.


What will occur during the peripheral nerve block of the foot procedure?

After the procedure and complications have been explained by the physician or physician assistant, an informed consent paper, (giving permission for the procedure), must be signed by the patient. Then, the patient is asked to sit or lie down on the exam table. The area to be injected will be cleaned with an aseptic solution, which is usually betadine unless you are allergic to this. When ready, the physician will inject a small amount of local anesthetic and steroid using a needle. After the procedure, you may experience numbness in the foot from the local anesthetic.


How long is the procedure?

Usually, the nerve block lasts between 3-5 minutes.


What happens after the procedure?

After the procedure is completed, your foot will be cleaned, and a band-aid will be applied. You will be given discharge instructions and any follow-up information that is needed. Remember, you may experience numbness in the affected area until the local anesthetic wears off completely.


What are possible complications from the procedure?

This procedure does come with risks. Complications that can occur include but are not limited to bruising, hematoma, infection, needle-induced trauma to the nerve, and reaction to the steroid medication.


What are possible side effects of the steroid medication?

Administration of steroid medication can cause side effects. Side effects can include but not limited to hyperglycemia, altered menstrual cycle, fluid retention, bruising, insomnia, sweats, hot/cold flashes, flushing of the face, weight gain, epidural lipomatosis, steroid myopathy, avascular necrosis of bone, osteoporosis, and Cushings syndrome.


Important Notes

  • If you suspect you might be pregnant or know you are pregnant, please notify the physician or any staff member, as this is a reason NOT to do the peripheral nerve block.
  • If you are a diabetic patient taking insulin or pills to manage your diabetes, the steroid used in the peripheral nerve block can raise your blood sugar level temporarily. You should monitor your blood sugar level closely after your procedure. If your blood sugar level continues to be elevated then contact your primary care physician for suggestions on how to best manage this issue.
  • After the procedure, you should resume your regular medications as you are prescribed if those medications were stopped before the injection.

* If you do not understand any part of the above material, please discuss it with your physician or physician assistant. *


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