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Anesth Analg. 2003 Mar;96(3):868-73, table of contents.

Infragluteal-parabiceps sciatic nerve block: an evaluation of a novel approach using a single-injection technique.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


Clinical use of the sciatic nerve block (SNB) has been limited by technical difficulties in performing the block using standard approaches, substantial patient discomfort during the procedure, or the need for two injections to block the tibial and peroneal nerves. In this report, we describe a single-injection method for SNB using an infragluteal-parabiceps approach, where the nerve is located along the lateral border of the biceps femoris muscle. SNB was performed in the prone or lateral decubitus position. The needle was positioned (average depth, 56 +/- 15 mm) to the point where plantar flexion (53%) or inversion (45%) of the ipsilateral foot was obtained at < or =0.4 mA. Levobupivacaine 0.625% with epinephrine (1:200:000) was administered at a dose of 0.4 mL/kg. The procedure was completed in 6 +/- 3 min. Discomfort during block placement was treated with fentanyl 50-100 microg in 24% of patients. Complete sensory loss and motor paralysis occurred in 92% of subjects at a median time of 10 (range, 5-25) min after injection. Compared with plantar flexion, foot inversion was associated with a more frequent incidence (86% versus 100%), and shorter latency for both sensory loss and motor paralysis of the peroneal, tibial, and sural nerves. There were no immediate or delayed complications. We conclude that the infragluteal-parabiceps approach to SNB is reliable, efficient, safe, and well tolerated by patients.


Sciatic nerve block using the infragluteal-parabiceps approach produces sensory loss and motor paralysis after a single 0.4 mL/kg injection of levobupivacaine 0.625% with epinephrine (1:200,000) in >90% of patients. The approach is reliable, uses consistent soft-tissue landmarks, is not typically painful, and does not produce significant complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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