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Papers of the Week

2019 Sep

Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol



Peripheral nerve blocks for postoperative analgesia: From traditional unencapsulated local anesthetic to liposomes, cryoneurolysis and peripheral nerve stimulation.


Peripheral nerve blocks (PNBs) using local anesthetics either via single injection or continuous perineural catheter have been the mainstay for regional anesthesia and are a vital component of postoperative multimodal opioid-sparing pain management. There are some limitations to PNBs, however, mainly its limited duration of action, but also risk of catheter-associated infection and dislodgements. Furthermore, local anesthetic-based blocks can induce sensory deficits and motor weakness, possibly increasing the risk of falling and/or decreasing the ability to participate in postoperative rehabilitation. In this review, we first discuss various local anesthetic-based PNB techniques for major surgery and then review newer modalities, including liposome bupivacaine, cryoanalgesia, and peripheral nerve stimulation; all of which may offer advantages over single and continuous local anesthetic-based PNBs.