Regional anesthesia is the preferred anesthetic technique for patients undergoing orthopedic surgery because it is associated with less post-operative pain and nausea, a lower incidence of blood clots, less blood loss, and a lower infection rate compared with general anesthesia. Each anesthesiologist at HSS has expertise in regional anesthesiology.
If your anesthesiologist suggests regional anesthesia for your procedure, he or she will place a local anesthetic medicine near the nerves that go to the part of your body that is being operated on. Your anesthesiologist may refer to this type of anesthesia as a peripheral nerve block. In some cases, you have the option to be awake during the surgery. Your preferences can be discussed with your anesthesiologist prior to surgery.
As with any anesthetic, there are risks associated with regional anesthesia. Serious complications associated with peripheral blocks are exceedingly rare. Prior to performing a regional block, your anesthesiologist will discuss common and uncommon risks associated with regional anesthesia at your request.
The Department of Anesthesiology performed nearly 40,000 regional anesthetics in 2015. This volume allows our anesthesiologists the opportunity to perfect their anesthetic approaches to care.
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Hospital for Special Surgery
535 East 70th St.
New York, NY 10021