Short Communication

Electrical nerve stimulation as an aid to the placement of a brachial plexus block : clinical communication

K.E. Joubert
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 73, No 4 | a590 | DOI: | © 2002 K.E. Joubert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 July 2002 | Published: 06 July 2002

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K.E. Joubert,

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Most local anaesthetic blocks are placed blindly, based on a sound knowledge of anatomy. Very often the relationship between the site of deposition of local anaesthetic and the nerve to be blocked is unknown. Large motor neurons may be stimulated with the aid of an electrical current. By observing for muscle twitches, through electrical stimulation of the nerve, a needle can be positioned extremely close to the nerve. The accuracy of local anaesthetic blocks can be improved by this technique. By using the lowest possible current a needle could be positioned within 2-5mm of a nerve. The correct duration of stimulation ensures that stimulation of sensory nerves does not occur. The use of electrical nerve stimulation in veterinary medicine is a novel technique that requires further evaluation.


Brachial Plexus; Canine; Local Anaesthesia; Nerve Blocks; Nerve Mapping; Nerve Stimulation


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