What are potential complications of digital nerve blocks?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: Dmitry Volfson, DO; Chief Editor: Meda Raghavendra (Raghu), MD  more...
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Numerous potential complications and local anesthetic toxicities have been described in the literature, including the following: [13]

  • Pain at injection site

  • Infection at injection site, especially with transthecal block

  • Wound infection: Local anesthetics have been shown to possess antimicrobial properties. Although studies have shown that use of local anesthetics does not alter incidence of wound infection, their use may produce false-negative wound cultures. [14]

  • Local injuries: Injuries to nerves and tendons can result in long-term complications such as neuropathies and tendonitis.

  • Wound healing: Several studies have shown that local anesthetics inhibit wound healing by decreasing the tensile strength of wounds; [15] another study showed that local anesthetics decrease local inflammatory response. [16]

  • Inadvertent intravascular injection: This increases the risk of cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity. [13]

  • Allergic reactions

  • Vasovagal syncope

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