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Femoral Nerve Block

  • Michael Jubinville, MPH
Publication Type:


Femoral Nerve Block


The femoral nerve starts at a nerve bundle in the lower back. It passes through the pelvic area and runs 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 imagehttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=65106510NC3D00004_96472_1_Anatomy of the Nervous System.jpgAnatomy of the Nervous SystemNULLjpgNC3D00004_96472_1_Anatomy of the Nervous System.jpgNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\NC3D00004_96472_1_Anatomy of the Nervous System.jpgNULL65NULL2007-05-15540212Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Procedure

Femoral nerve blocks are often used for pain relief. A femoral nerve block may be used to manage pain caused by:

  • Fracture of hip or thigh bone
  • Surgery on your leg

Possible Complications

The block dulls sensation in the leg. This increases the risk of falls, which can cause or worsen injury.

Other problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will review possible problems such as:

What to Expect

Call Your Doctor

It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. Call your doctor if any of the following happen:

  • 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.

Prior to Procedure

The doctor may review tests that were already done. Other steps will depend on the reason a block is needed.

The doctor needs to know about any medicine that you are currently taking. Certain medicine will need to be stopped up to 1 week before your procedure.





  • Anesthesia for hip and knee surgery. Ortho Info—American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00372.
  • Femoral nerve block. New York School of Regional Anesthesia website. Available at: http://www.nysora.com/femoral-nerve-block.
  • Femoral Shaft Fracture - Emergency Management. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/femoral-shaft-fracture-emergency-management.
  • 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 website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T360995/Total-knee-arthroplasty.
  • Wright I. Peripheral nerve blocks in the outpatient setting. AORN J. 2011;94(1):59-74.


  • Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.