Anesthesia, like all other medical specialties, must progress, and technological advances have played a key role in the changes in anesthesia practice that have occurred over the past few decades. For regional anesthesia, the increasing sophistication of ultrasound imaging has allowed techniques to become progressively more accurate, reliable, and safe. This has certainly contributed to a recent resurgence of interest in regional anesthesia, yet there are other reasons for renewed interest. It may seem paradoxical that at a time when general anesthesia is safer and better tolerated than ever, regional anesthesia is more widely practiced. This is partly driven by patient preferences, and as patients understand the advantages of regional anesthesia and recognize the skill involved, they may choose to undergo surgery, particularly orthopedic surgery, using regional rather than general anesthesia.
Ballantyne JC. Atlas of Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia. JAMA. 2010;304(18):2067-2071. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1644