Supracondylar radial nerve block for treatment of distal radius fractures in the emergency department

J Emerg Med. 2011 Oct;41(4):386-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2010.11.043. Epub 2011 Feb 5.


Background: Patients with acute distal radius fractures are frequently treated in the emergency department (ED) with closed reduction and splinting. Many of the anesthesia methods frequently employed may either lack efficacy or require additional monitoring and resources.

Case report: An 18-year-old woman presented to the ED with a dorsally angulated distal radius fracture (Colles fracture). As an alternative to procedural sedation, an ultrasound-guided block of the radial nerve proximal to its bifurcation into the deep and superficial branches was performed. The resulting anesthesia was adequate to reduce and splint the fracture with minimal discomfort for the patient.

Conclusion: Ultrasound-guided supracondylar block of the radial nerve proximal to the origin of the deep and superficial branches provides safe and efficacious anesthesia for distal radius fracture reduction in the ED.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Colles' Fracture / surgery*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Radial Nerve*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods


  • Anesthetics, Local