Regional anesthesia has increasingly expanded its role in the perioperative care of patients undergoing foot and ankle surgery. In addition to avoiding side effects associated with both general anesthesia and neuraxial anesthetic techniques, especially those related to cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, regional nerve blocks have been shown to improve postoperative pain and reduce hospital stay and associated expenses. The techniques utilized to achieve analgesia of the foot and ankle are diverse, multifaceted, and often incorporate ultrasound guidance. Given the aging of patient populations, and especially the growing incidence of cardiovascular-, pulmonary-, and obesity-related morbidity, the use of regional blocks is likely to expand in these surgical procedures. This review highlights some of the most current developments in the expanding role of regional anesthesia in foot and ankle surgery.
Levels of evidence: Therapeutic, Level II.
Keywords: foot and ankle surgery; postoperative pain; regional anesthesia.
© 2015 The Author(s).