Development and verification of saphenous, tibial and common peroneal nerve block techniques for analgesia below the thigh in the nonchondrodystrophoid dog

Lara M. Rasmussen, Alan J. Lipowitz, Lynelle F. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To document simple and reliable local, infiltrating nerve blocks for the saphenous, tibial and common peroneal nerves in the dog. Study design: Laboratory technique development; in vivo blind, controlled, prospective study. Animals: Twenty canine cadavers and 18 clinically normal, client-owned dogs. Methods: A peripheral nerve blockade technique of the tibial, common peroneal, and saphenous nerves was perfected through anatomic dissection. Injections were planned in the caudal thigh for the tibial and common peroneal nerves, and in the medial thigh for the saphenous nerve. Cadaver limbs were injected with methylene blue dye and subsequently dissected to confirm successful dye placement. Clinically normal dogs undergoing general anesthesia for unrelated, elective procedures were randomly assigned to treatment (bupivacaine; n = 8) or control (saline; n = 8) nerve blocks of the nerves under study. Upon recovery from general anesthesia, skin sensation in selected dermatomes was evaluated for 24 hours. Results: Cadaver tibial, common peroneal, and saphenous perineural infiltrations were successful in nonchondrodystrophoid dogs (100, 100, and 97%, respectively.) Intraneural injection was rare (1%; 1/105; tibial nerve) in cadaver dogs. In the treatment group of normal dogs, duration of loss of cutaneous sensation in some dermatomes (saphenous, superficial and deep peroneal nerve) was significantly different than control dogs; the range of desensitization occurred for 1-20 hours. No clinical morbidity was detected. Conclusions: This technique for local blockade of the tibial, common peroneal, and saphenous nerves just proximal to the stifle is easy to perform, requires minimal supplies and results in significant desensitization of the associated dermatomes in clinically normal, nonchondrodystrophoid dogs. Clinical relevance: This technique may be an effective tool for post-operative analgesia to the femoro-tibial joint and distal pelvic limb. Other applications, using sustained-release drugs or methods, may include anesthesia/analgesia in high-risk patients or as a treatment for chronic pelvic limb pain or self-mutilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-48
Number of pages13
JournalVeterinary anaesthesia and analgesia
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Canine
  • Common peroneal nerve
  • Pain management
  • Peripheral nerve blockade
  • Saphenous nerve
  • Tibial nerve

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