In recent years, AAMG physicians have embraced the availability of advanced ultrasound technology to make possible a wide range of ultrasound-guided nerve blocks for acute postoperative pain in our daily practice. A large number of both outpatient and inpatient surgeries can be done with these nerve blocks as a main anesthetic technique or as an addition to general anesthesia to substantially reduce pain after surgery.
In the outpatient settings, AAMG physicians employ a variety of ultrasound-guided nerve blocks to treat patients coming in for shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, knee and ankle surgeries. Because nerve blocks help physicians minimize anesthetic usage during surgery, our patients experience significantly less nausea, pain and sedation in recovery rooms and most are able to leave surgery centers in less than one hour in recovery. Additionally, most of our patients who receive nerve blocks require a minimal amount of pain medicine at home, contributing to a much better surgical experience.
In the inpatient settings, nerve blocks have proven invaluable in the care of patients undergoing more invasive procedures such as joint replacement and bone fracture repair. Our patients are able to participate in physical therapy soon after surgery and get discharged quicker. AAMG physicians are also currently working on expanding our continuous nerve block program beyond the femoral nerve catheter used in knee replacement surgery to other nerve catheters such as the interscalene block used in shoulder, proximal arm fracture repairs and the popliteal fossa block for complex ankle surgeries.
Additionally, we recognize the tremendous benefit these continuous nerve blocks have in patients with high intolerance to narcotics or with chronic pain history. Recently, ultrasound-guided nerve block has also expanded into obstetric anesthesia and large abdominal surgeries in the form of Transverse Abdominis Plane block used to minimize pain after Cesarean sections and bowel resection surgeries.