The purpose of this study was to compare postoperative analgesia after foot surgery in patients anaesthetised either with popliteal sciatic nerve block or ankle block. In a prospective study, 40 patients scheduled for foot surgery involving osteotomies were allocated randomly into one of two groups. Following induction of general anaesthesia, Group PS (n = 21) received a lateral popliteal sciatic nerve block and Group AB (n = 19) received an ankle block. Both groups received 20 ml bupivacaine 0.5% plain. In group PS 43% required morphine analgesia in the Post Anaesthetic Recovery Room (PAR) compared with 16% in group AB. Postoperative analgesia was assessed using VAS and a pain scale in the PAR and a questionnaire by telephone follow-up on the day after surgery. The ankle block appeared to be more reliable, providing more consistent analgesia in the PAR. Postoperative analgesia in Group PS lasted a median of 18.0 hr and in Group AB lasted 11.5 hr (P < 0.05). Both techniques provided effective analgesia after discharge home and high levels of patient satisfaction.