Procedure & Treatment Library

Interscalene Nerve Block

What is an Interscalene Nerve Block?

Prior to the Procedure

Interscalene nerve block
Image adapted from David Shankbone (Foto), Grey's anatomy. [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

What Will Happen?

  1. You will be admitted to the day surgery by a nurse and you will be asked to change into a gown.
  2. The anaesthetist will speak with you and place a cannula (plastic needle) into a vein in your hand.
  3. In the procedure room, you will be assisted to position on the procedure table, lying on your back with a small foam support for your head.
  4. The anaesthetist will give you some sedation into your vein.
  5. You will be positioned with your arms by your side and your head turned away from your affected side.
  6. Steroid and local anaesthetic will be injected once correct placement has been established with use of a nerve stimulator and sometimes X-ray guidance. The procedure will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.
  7. After the procedure, you will be placed on a trolley and taken to recovery, where you will remain for approximately 1 hour.
  8. After having something to eat and drink, you will be discharged with a carer.

Post Procedure

If you require further explanation of the procedure, please contact Hunter Pain Clinic nursing staff on (02) 4985 1800.

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