radial nerve block

Last reviewed 05/2023

A radial nerve block is the production of anaesthesia in the distribution of the radial nerve at the wrist.

It is first necessary to identify the 'anatomical snuffbox' on the ulnar side of the wrist between the tendons of extensor policis longus and brevis. The needle is inserted above the first metacarpal and directed proximally towards the wrist along the route of extensor policis longus. 2-3ml of 1% lignocaine is injected as the needle is withdrawn.

The needle is then partially withdrawn without exiting the skin and redirected towards the palmar surface of the hand at 90 degrees to the first injection. 1-2 ml of 1% lignocaine is injected during withdrawal.