Ultrasound-guided popliteal sciatic nerve block: an effective alternative technique to control ischaemic severe rest pain during endovascular treatment of critical limb ischaemia
Eker, Hatice E.
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Purpose: There are challenges with pain management related to a severely ischaemic limb. Although opioid-based treatment has been the cornerstone of pain relief, the use of these drugs should be limited because of their side effects in such vulnerable patients. We evaluated the utility and efficiency of sciatic nerve block as an alternative method to relieve severe rest pain during endovascular treatment of critical limb ischaemia. Material and methods: We retrospectively investigated 10 patients who received ultrasound-guided popliteal sciatic nerve block for the relief of severe rest pain during endovascular treatment of critical limb ischaemia. The degree of pain relief was evaluated by using subjective criteria, from no relief of pain (=1) to complete relief of pain (=4). Details of endovascular treatment, time to perform the block, amount of local anaesthetics, duration of the block, need for supplemental analgesia, patient and operator satisfaction, and complications were recorded. Results: All blocks were technically successful, and all of the patients had complete resolution of the pain within five minutes. The degree of pain relief was 3 in two patients and 4 in eight patients. All patients were satisfied with the block anaesthesia, and no patient required additional analgesia during this period. Operator satisfaction was very good in all cases. Complications secondary to block did not occur in any patient. Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided popliteal sciatic nerve block provides effective pain control, which results in excellent patient and operator satisfaction during endovascular treatment of critical limb ischaemia with severe rest pain.