paravertebral block

Last reviewed 01/2018

A paravertebral block is a description of the application of local anaesthetic to the paravertebral region of the spine in order to achieve dorsal anaesthesia.

At the level required for the block, the spinous process of the vertebra is located. Two centimetres lateral to this on the desired side, a needle is advanced through the skin until it meets the transverse process. A change of resistance is felt as the needle enters the paravertebral space. The syringe is aspirated to ensure a vessel has not been entered. Local anaesthetic is then injected and it disperses to cover 2-3 vertebral levels.