Definition

The femoral nerve starts at a nerve bundle in the lower back. It passes through the pelvic area and runs down the leg to the foot. The nerve affects feeling and movement of the thigh, hip, and knee. A femoral nerve block decreases sensation in these areas.

The Nervous System
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Reasons for Procedure

Femoral nerve blocks are often used for pain relief. A femoral nerve block may be used to manage pain caused by:

  • Fracture of hip or thigh bone
  • Surgery on your leg

Possible Complications

The block dulls sensation in the leg. This increases the risk of falls which can cause or worsen injury.

Other problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will review possible problems such as:

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

The doctor may review tests that were already done. Other steps will depend on the reason a block is needed.

The doctor needs to know about any medicine that you are currently taking. Certain medicine will need to be stopped up to 1 week before your procedure.

Anesthesia

Local anesthesia will be used. It will numb the area where the injection will be made. A sedative may also be given. It will improve relaxation.

Description of the Procedure

This procedure may be done as treatment by itself or as part of your treatment.

You will be asked to lie on your back. The doctor will locate the femoral nerve by feel. An ultrasound machine may also be used to help guide the needle. The needle will be inserted through the skin and into the femoral nerve. More than one injection may be needed to get the needle into the correct place. You may feel your thigh muscle twitch when the nerve is touched by the needle. The medicine will be injected into the nerve and the needle will be removed.

How Long Will It Take?

15 to 20 minutes

Will It Hurt?

There may be some pressure when the needle is place. Medicine will block pain. The area may be sore after the nerve block wears off.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital

Blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored.

At Home

Activity will be limited until the block wears off.

Call Your Doctor

It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. Call your doctor if any of the following happen:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, pain, or discharge from the insertion site
  • Pain that does not go away with the medication you were given
  • Excess bleeding from the insertion site
  • Falls, especially if they result in injury
  • Residual tingling, numbness, weakness or shooting pain in your leg
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2019 -
  • Update Date: 02/12/2020 -