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July 1977

Diagnostic, Prognostic, and Therapeutic Nerve Blocks

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Washington School of Medicine and the Pain Clinic, Veterans Administration Hospital, Seattle.

Arch Surg. 1977;112(7):870-879. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370070084014

• During the past three quarters of a century, nerve blocks have been used with varying success as a primary treatment technique for patients with acute and chronic pain. However, practicing dolorologists soon realized that, in certain individuals, anesthetic blocking of noxious, peripheral afferent sensations did not always ameliorate pain complaints and at times even exaggerated them. The recent advent of the multidisciplinary approach to the management of pain, including neurosurgical procedures, new drugs, electrical stimulation and psychosocial intervention, has helped to clarify the indications for, limitations of, and disadvantages of the use of nerve blocks. The purpose of this article is to place nerve blocks in proper perspective and to define their role among the many methods currently available for the evaluation and control of severe pain.

(Arch Surg 112:870-879, 1977)