A preliminary study of the applicability of sciatic and femoral regional nerve blocks in the evaluation of acute knee injuries was conducted. During the period from January 1980 to March 1981, 12 patients with acute knee injuries in whom clinical examination under local anesthesia was considered totally unreliable secondary to patient un-cooperation or severe pain were examined at Grady Memorial Hospital. Each of these patients received regional anesthesia by sciatic/femoral nerve block. All patients obtained satisfactory relaxation and analgesia for complete evaluation, and 92% obtained total analgesia for the knee. A full range of motion was present in each patient after the block. No complications were encountered. A satisfactory block was obtained in one attempt in 96% of the patients. (One patient had a failed femoral nerve block, but a repeated block was successful.)
* Chief Resident, Department of Orthopaedics, Emory University Affiliated Hospitals, Atlanta, Georgia.
** Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.