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Going Home with a Femoral Nerve Catheter (7163)

Going Home with a Femoral Nerve Catheter (7163) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Orthopedics


Going Home with a Femoral Nerve Catheter

You are getting a local anesthetic through a small tube placed near the nerves that go to your
knee. This medicine will help with your pain after surgery. The catheter (tube) has been placed
by your anesthesia doctor at the request of your surgeon. This sheet will help to answer common

If you have questions or concerns about your catheter, CALL 608-263-6400 and ask for the
resident on acute pain call.

The local pain medicine will not take away all of your pain. We expect that you will use some of
the pain pills prescribed by your doctor while you have the catheter in place.
 You will be getting about a teaspoon of numbing medicine constantly every hour. You can
also give yourself extra medicine by pushing the “bolus” button at the front of the pump.
You can press the button as often as you want. It will only give you the extra medicine once
every 30-60 minutes based on the way your doctor programmed your pump. If you still have
pain after 20 minutes, you should take your oral pain medicine as agreed.
 Most often, in about 10-15 hours, the intense numbness that you felt at first wears off
and you may feel some pain. When this occurs take some of your pain medicine and press
the bolus button on the front of your pump.
 After the dense nerve block goes away, most patients describe their thigh as feeling numb.
Your thigh should feel numb and thigh muscles may feel weak. They just may not feel
normal to you while the catheter is in place. Your toes should never feel different and will
not be affected by this block.
 The catheter is most often kept in place for 2-3 days, but may be kept in for less time
depending on the preference of your surgeon.
 The infusion should be off for at least 2 hours before you remove the catheter. You should
have feeling back in your thigh and knee.

To remove the catheter, you will follow these steps:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Remove the dressing starting with the tape holding the end of the catheter that is
connected to the pump tubing. Loosen the tape all the way down to the insertion
point for the catheter.
3. Gently pull the catheter out. It should come out quite smoothly. It may get hung up
where there is glue at the site of insertion. You can loosen up this glue so the catheter
can move more easily if this is the case.

4. If it hurts to remove the catheter or if you have sensations down your arm or in your
hand while the catheter is coming out, STOP and call the number listed at the top of
the sheet. If the catheter does not come out easily or you have any sharp, shooting
pains when removing the catheter we will have you do things in a different way.
5. Note the tip of the catheter. It should be silver, blue or black. If it is not, please call
the phone number on this sheet.
6. Never Cut The Catheter! Never disconnect the catheter from the tubing while the
catheter is in your leg.
7. Once the catheter is out you can cut the pump tubing and discard of the tubing and
the catheter in the garbage. Please return the pump in the envelope provided.

 Do Not Drive while you are getting this medicine.
 If sedation was used prior to the catheter placement, do not make important personal
or business decisions until the next day.
 You will need to have someone with you for the first 24 hours after you go home and for
most of the time you are getting this medicine.
 Keep your knee in a locked knee immobilizer, while walking, for the entire time this nerve
catheter is running.
 You are at risk for falling because you have a weak leg.
 You MUST use crutches or a walker while walking around with this nerve block. You
will NOT be able to support your weight without these aids.
 Fluid may leak around the catheter. This is normal and does not mean the medicine is not
 If the skin around the catheter gets red or painful, call the doctor.

Things we worry about
It is very rare that you will receive too much medicine. However, if you were to get too much
medicine, it might make you feel unusually sleepy. Your speech might slur. Your tongue might
feel very thick. You might feel nervous or confused. If you feel any of these symptoms stop the
pump or clamp the tubing and call your doctor right away.

About the pump
 You will know the pump is working because you can hear a series of clicking noises and see
the number for the “amount delivered” increase.
 When the catheter has been removed, the pump (with the cap still on) should be mailed back.

Adapted from University of Florida Instructions for Home going Catheters.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©4/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7163.