Ultrasound Mapping of Nerve Stimulator Response during Sciatic Nerve Blockade and Relation to Postoperative Pain Scores
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1.1 Background and Purpose: Ultrasound guided sciatic nerve blockade has rapid onset but at 24 hours pain is greater than nerve stimulator techniques. Injection of the nerve branches or trunk and sub-sheath blockade increase success and reduce onset times but risk injury. This study mapped needle coordinates for sciatic nerve blockade with nerve stimulation and its relation to postoperative pain scores. 1.2 Method: Angle and distance of the needle tip and infusion catheter from the popliteal sciatic nerve at which stimulated plantar flexion occurred were measured. Pain scores at postanesthesia unit discharge and 24 hours were recorded. 1.3 Results: 81% of opioid naïve patients reported immediate analgesia and 20.8% at 24 hours. In opioid tolerant patients 56.8% reported immediate analgesia and 9.1% at 24 hours. Plantar flexion was observed with the needle in the posterior medial quadrant near the sciatic nerve. Opioid tolerant patients reported adequate analgesia when the needle was located more medially and proximally to the sciatic nerve. 1.4 Conclusion: Stimulated plantar flexion is isolated to a narrow angular range in the posterior medial quadrant adjacent to the sciatic nerve. Opioid tolerant patients report adequate analgesia if the needle and catheter are more medial and proximal to the nerve surface.