Shoulder surgery eg. Rotator cuff repairs, shoulder replacements are most commonly performed under a combination of general and regional anaesthesia (nerve block).
Immediately prior to your surgery, a light sedative will be administered via your cannula. An ultrasound machine will be used to locate the nerves in the neck on the side of the procedure. Local anaesthetic will then be injected around these nerves. After 10-20 mins the shoulder, forearm and hand will be numb and weak. The nerve block will last between 8 and 24 hrs and works by blocking the pain signals reaching the brain. It also blocks the movement signals which mean that moving the arm will be difficult.
Advantages of a Nerve Block
- Minimal/reduced pain upon waking up from general anaesthesia
- Lighter general anaesthetic resulting in less drowsiness, nausea and vomiting
- Less requirement for pain killers after the operation
Disadvantages/Risks/Alternatives will be discussed on the day of the procedure.