Femoral Nerve Block

What is a Femoral/Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve Block?

A Femoral /Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve Block is frequently combined with blockade of the lateral femoral cutaneous, obturator, and sciatic nerves. This block is used for patients with complaints of pain, numbness, and/or tingling and weakness in the quadriceps with severe gait impairment and decreased sensation over the thigh and calf.

What is the purpose of the injection?

The purpose of this block is for diagnosis and treatment of femoral nerve/lateral femoral cutaneous nerve entrapment or irritation.

What is injected?

The injection consists of a mixture of a local anesthetic and steroid.

Will the injection hurt?

The procedure involves inserting a needle through skin and deeper tissues. There is some discomfort involved. However, the skin and deeper tissues are numbed with a local anesthetic.

Will I need more than one?

Pain relief varies. If the injection provides relief of symptoms you may be a candidate for a radio frequency lesioning which may provide relief for a longer period of time.

What are the risks and side effects?

With any procedure there are risks, side effects, and possibility of complications. The most common side effect is leg numbness and weakness which will impair your ability to stand and walk. You will need assistance with weight bearing activities until all numbness and weakness is resolved. This is extremely important; your leg will be weak. Risks also include infection, bleeding, and puncture of a blood vessel.

What should I expect after the injection?

After the injection, you may feel that your pain has decreased which is a result of the local anesthetic. After the anesthetic wears off, you may have an increase in pain for the next 2-5 days, and then you should begin to see an improvement. This pain is due to the process of the needle insertion as well as the initial irritation from the steroid itself. Use of ice is encouraged.

What should I do to prepare for the procedure?

To prepare for the procedure, do the following:
  1. Bring a list of your current medications, allergies and surgeries with dates if known
  2. Notify the Pain Management Center if you are pregnant or have an infection.
  3. You must have someone with you who is capable of assisting you with all weight bearing activities until the numbness wears off after being discharged from the clinic. You will not be allowed to drive home.
  4. You must have a driver.
  5. You may take routine medications including pain medicine.
  6. You must not eat or drink 6 hours prior to your procedure unless otherwise directed.

What should I expect the day of the procedure?

  1. Your medical history will be reviewed.
  2. You will be monitored during and for a minimum of 30 minutes after the procedure.
  3. An IV will be started.
  4. You will not be able to return to work that day. You are advised to go home and rest. Your numbness may persist for 24-48 hours. It is advisable to have someone with you at home for the remainder of the day of injection and until able to bear weight.
  5. After the procedure you may eat. Normal medications may be resumed.