Search in�� ��for��
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
Birthing Center Tours
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Privacy Notice

Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Femoral Nerve Block



The femoral nerve starts at a nerve bundle in the lower back. It passes through the pelvic area and branches off as it travels down the leg to the foot. The nerve affects feeling and movement of the thigh, hip, and knee. A femoral nerve block decreases sensation in these areas.

The Nervous System

Nucleus factsheet image

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Reasons for Procedure    TOP

Femoral nerve blocks are generally used for pain relief. You may also be given a femoral nerve block for:

  • Femoral neck or shaft fracture
  • Surgery on your leg

Possible Complications    TOP

There is a higher risk of falls after having a femoral nerve block because of decreased sensation in the leg. Falls can cause or worsen injury.

Other problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Blood clots
  • A local pocket of blood outside of the blood vessels—hematoma
  • Infection
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Additional surgery, which may needed after a fall
  • Pneumonia
  • Kidney failure

What to Expect    TOP

Prior to Procedure

Before the procedure, the doctor may request the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Imaging tests, which may include x-rays, or an MRI or CT scan

Current medications should be discussed with the doctor before surgery. Certain medications need to be stopped up to a week before your procedure.


A local anesthetic will be used at the injection site before the block is delivered. It will numb the area. A sedative may also be give to encourage relaxation.

Description of the Procedure    TOP

This procedure may be done as treatment by itself or as part of your treatment.

You will be asked to lie on your back. The doctor will locate the femoral nerve by feeling of the pulse from the femoral artery just below your pelvic area. The femoral nerve is located next to this blood vessel. An ultrasound machine may also be used to help guide the needle. The needle will then be inserted into the femoral nerve. More than one injection may be needed to get the needle into the correct position. You may feel your thigh muscle twitch when the nerve is stimulated by the needle. Once the needle is in the correct place, the anesthetic medication will be injected into the nerve.

How Long Will It Take?    TOP

15-20 minutes

Will It Hurt?    TOP

Local anesthesia will prevent pain at the injection site during the femoral nerve block. You may have some discomfort at the insertion site after the nerve block wears off.

Post-procedure Care    TOP

At the Hospital

After the procedure, the hospital staff will monitor blood pressure and heart rate.

At Home

Transportation home and assistance at home will be needed until the anesthesia wears off.


Call Your Doctor    TOP

It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, pain, or discharge from the insertion site
  • Pain that does not go away with the medication you were given
  • Excess bleeding from the insertion site
  • Falls, especially if they result in injury
  • Residual tingling, numbness, weakness or shooting pain in your leg
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.


American Society of Anesthesiologist

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society

When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation


Anesthesia for hip and knee surgery. Ortho Info—American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated March 2014. Accessed October 2, 2017.

Femoral nerve block. New York School of Regional Anesthesia website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed October 2, 2017.

Sharma S, Iorio R, Specht LM, Davies-Lepie S, Healy WL. Complications of femoral nerve block for total knee arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2010;468(1):135-140.

Szucs S, Morau D. Femoral nerve blockade. Med Ultrason. 2010;12(2):139-144.

Total knee arthroplasty. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T360995/Total-knee-arthroplasty . Updated July 17, 2017. Accessed October 2, 2017.

Wright I. Peripheral nerve blocks in the outpatient setting. AORN J. 2011;94(1):59-74.

Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 7/1/2014

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers

Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000