A practical guide to commonly performed ultrasound-guided peripheral-nerve blocks

Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2009 Oct;22(5):600-7. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e32832f7643.


Purpose of review: Regional anesthesia has experienced a tremendous renaissance of interest over the past several years. Much of this renewed enthusiasm among clinicians is due to the increased usage of ultrasound guidance for peripheral-nerve blocks. This review serves as a useful foundation for the most commonly employed ultrasound-guided blocks utilized by the clinician.

Recent findings: With recent advances in both sonographic capability and access for anesthesia providers, many peripheral-nerve blocks have become quite amenable to being placed with ultrasound guidance. In addition, the subspecialty of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia is being further pioneered via both anatomical and pharmacological studies.

Summary: With ultrasound guidance, the regional anesthesiologist has yet another tool to enhance both the accuracy and success of peripheral-nerve blockade. This article serves to display the most clinically relevant nerve blocks utilized in the perioperative setting. It is meant to be used as a clinical starting point for the development of regional anesthesia skills.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / education*
  • Brachial Plexus / anatomy & histology
  • Brachial Plexus / diagnostic imaging
  • Femoral Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Femoral Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Nerve Block / adverse effects
  • Nerve Block / instrumentation
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Sciatic Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Sciatic Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*