BACKGROUND: We investigated whether medial cord stimulation is inferior to posterior cord stimulation for vertical infraclavicular block with respect to block success.
METHODS: Ninety-six patients scheduled for upper limb surgery were randomly elicited a medial or posterior cord response for infraclavicular block using 40 mL of 0.5% ropivacaine. We assessed block success (complete sensory block of the 5 nerves in the forearm at 50 minutes) as the primary end point and block procedure characteristics and adverse events as secondary end points.
RESULTS: The block success rates did not differ significantly between medial and posterior cord stimulation (95.7% [44/46] vs 91.7% [44/48], 95% CI of difference, –7.4% to 15.6%), while the secondary end points were comparable in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Needle manipulation to elicit medial cord response is noninferior to posterior cord response of block success during neurostimulation-guided vertical infraclavicular block.