Going Home after a Lower Extremity Block Anesthesia
This handout explains the care needed at home after a lower extremity block
Checked below is the type of nerve block
you had. The length of time the block will
last is different from patient to patient.
Lumbar Plexus (12 – 18 hours)
Femoral (12 – 18 hours)
Popliteal (12 – 36 hours)
Someone (age 16 or older) should stay with
you for the rest of today and tonight. This is
for your own safety and protection. You
may feel a little sleepy for the next 12 to 24
hours. This is from to the medicines you
receive during and after surgery. Rest and
relax for the next 12 hours.
For The Next 24 Hours, Even If You Feel
ξ Avoid hazardous or strenuous
ξ Don’t drive a car, motorcycle, or
bike. Don’t operate machinery or
ξ Don’t drink alcohol or use
ξ Don’t make any important personal
or business decisions, or sign
ξ Follow your doctor’s advice about
activity. Be careful when you sit or
stand up after being in bed for a long
time. You may become dizzy if you
sit or stand too quickly.
Things to Know
ξ Protect your leg or foot from extreme
heat or cold
ξ Do not put any pressure on the leg or
ξ Always be able to see your foot or
ξ Use crutches, a cane, or a walker
while your foot or leg is numb
ξ Avoid putting your full weight on the
leg or foot until you have regained
control and your leg no longer feels
If you have pain, you can start taking the
oral pain medicine that your doctor has
prescribed for you. Do not take extra
Tylenol® (acetaminophen) if you have been
prescribed any of the medicines listed
Vicodin® (hydrocodone &
Norco® (hydrocodone &
Percocet® (oxycodone &
Tylenol® #3 (codeine &
If you have not had any pain before going to
bed, there is a good chance that the
numbness will wear off in the middle of the
night. For this reason, you may want to take
your pain medicine before going to bed. We
suggest that you set your alarm for 4 – 6
hours to see if you need to take more. The
pain pills will take 20 to 30 minutes to start
working, so do not wait until you are in a lot
of pain because it will be harder to get the
pain under control.
Food and Liquids
ξ Start slowly.
ξ Drink clear liquids such as water,
apple juice, and soft drinks.
ξ If you feel okay, you can try soup,
soda crackers, and other foods that
are easy to digest.
ξ Avoid spicy or fatty foods.
ξ Drink at least 6-8 glasses of clear
liquids so you don’t get dehydrated.
ξ Tomorrow, you can eat what you
Your anesthesiologist was
Your surgeon is
Dr.______________________ from the
The clinic phone number is:
(608) - ___________________.
Call if you have questions or concerns. If
you live outside the area, call our toll-free
number 1-800-323-8942 (24 hr).
In an emergency, call 911
Call if you have:
ξ A fever above 100°F (by mouth) or 99°
F (under the arm) for 2 readings taken 4
ξ Trouble breathing or a “wet sounding”
cough that persists.
ξ Frequent vomiting after getting settled
at home (more than twice).
ξ Trouble urinating by late tonight (or
have a painful, full bladder).
ξ Your pain does not go away or gets
ξ You have a bad headache that is worse
when you sit up and better when you lie
ξ New weakness or numbness
After hours, weekends, and holidays: Call
(608) 262-0486 (Paging Operator). Ask for
the doctor on call for
Give the operator your name and phone
number with the area code. The doctor will
call you back.
If you have questions or concerns about the
nerve block, call (608) 262-0486 and ask for
the Anesthesia Acute Pain Service. If you
had surgery at The American Center, ask for
the Anesthesiologist on-call.
A nurse will try to call you at home or work
within the next few days. We will ask you a
few questions about your recovery and the
care you received. Let us know if this is not
possible or may be a problem.
We wish you a quick recovery.
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 © 8/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6833