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Anesthesia

Nerve block for elbow surgery

03/16/2006

Question:

I had elbow surgery yesterday and had nerve block how long does it take for it to wear off?

Answer:

It depends! It depends on the kind of nerve block, and the kind of local anesthetic that was used. Long acting local anesthetics, such as bupivacaine and ropivacaine, might last up to 12 hours or so. There are certain additives, such as clonidine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and corticosteroids that help to prolong the effect. The effects on movement ("motor effects") wear off more quickly than the the effects on feeling ("sensory effects"). If you had a single injection of local anesthetic and the effects have not worn off by the following day you should give your surgeon or anesthesiologist a call.

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Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University