- Risks and Complications
What is a supratrochlear nerve block?
A supratrochlear nerve block is a procedure to anesthetize the lower middle portion of the forehead and the bridge of the nose. An anesthetic injection is administered below the eyebrow on the edge close to the nasal bridge, where the supratrochlear nerve comes out of the skull and runs up the forehead. The anesthetic agent blocks transmission of pain signals from the supratrochlear nerve to the brain.
What does the supratrochlear nerve do?
The supratrochlear nerve is a terminal branch of the ophthalmic nerve, which is one of the three main divisions of the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerves provide motor and sensory function to the face and the front part of the scalp.
The supratrochlear nerve provides sensation to the lower middle part of the forehead, the bridge of the nose, the membrane (conjunctiva) over the whites of the eyes and the inner lining of the upper eyelids. The supraorbital nerve provides sensation to the rest of the forehead and frontal scalp up to the top of the head.
Why is a supratrochlear nerve block performed?
A supratrochlear nerve block is mostly performed along with a supraorbital nerve block to anesthetize the entire forehead, during treatment procedures that include:
- Repair of injuries in the forehead
- Removal of damaged tissue (debridement) from burns or abrasions
- Removal of cysts or benign growths
- Removal of foreign bodies
- Tissue removal for biopsy
- Scalp incisions for surgeries in the frontal head such as fluid drainage for hydrocephalus (ventriculoperitoneal shunt)
- Pain management after a surgical procedure in the forehead
- Along with steroids for pain relief from painful conditions such as:
Supratrochlear nerve block is avoided in the following situations:
- Patient’s inability to tolerate the procedure
- Infection at the injection site
- Allergy to local anesthetics
- Distortion of anatomy
A supratrochlear nerve block is superior to a local tissue infiltration anesthesia in the forehead because it provides:
- Rapid anesthetic effect with immediate pain relief
- Anesthesia of a larger area with minimal quantity of anesthetic agent
- Anesthesia without tissue distortion
How is a supratrochlear nerve block performed?
A supratrochlear nerve block is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, unless it is part of a major surgery involving the forehead. The nerve block may be performed with just an anesthetic agent or combined with steroids for long-term pain relief for neuralgia.
Depending on the required duration of anesthesia, the doctor may use one of the following anesthetic agents:
- The patient may be seated or lying flat for the procedure.
- The injection site is sterilized with antiseptic solution.
- The doctor may administer a mild sedative if necessary.
- Feels the bony ridge of the eyebrow to locate the hole in the bone through which the supraorbital nerve naturally emerges from the eye socket.
- Marks the injection site between the supraorbital foramen and the nasal bridge.
- Inserts the needle into the tissue under the skin pointing towards the nasal bridge.
- Presses a roll of gauze over the eyelid to prevent the anesthetic swelling into the eyelid.
- Aspirates the syringe to ensure that the needle is not inside a blood vessel.
- Injects the anesthetic agent around the supratrachlear nerve slowly in a fanlike distribution and withdraws the needle.
How long does a supratrochlear nerve block last?
The anesthetic in the supratrochlear nerve block provides pain relief within 10 to 20 minutes depending on the anesthetic agent. The effect of the supratrochlear nerve block lasts for hours. The long-term pain relief, if steroid is also injected for inflammation, may take two or three days to take effect. The long-term benefit of steroid injection varies from individual to individual. Some people find pain relief from the nerve block with steroids lasting several weeks to years, while some may find no benefit.
The approximate durations of anesthesia from the supratrochlear nerve block are as follows:
- Lidocaine: up to 75 minutes
- Tetracaine: up to three hours
- Bupivacaine: up to eight hours
The patient may experience tingling, discomfort or pain as sensation returns. Post-procedure pain may be relieved with oral painkillers.
What are the risks and complications of a supratrochlear nerve block?
The complications of a supratrochlear nerve block include:
Latest Chronic Pain News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top How Long Does A Supratrochlear Nerve Block Last Related Articles
Burns (First Aid)
Burn types are based on their severity: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. First-degree burns are similar to a painful sunburn. The damage is more severe with second-degree burns, leading to blistering and more intense pain. The skin turns white and loses sensation with third-degree burns. Burn treatment depends upon the burn location, total burn area, and intensity of the burn.
First AidFirst aid is a complicated subject and it is situation-specific. First aid is defined as the help and medical assistance someone a sick or injured person. Preparedness is key to first aid, like having basic medical emergency kits in your
- boat, or
- puncture wounds,
- strains, and
- heart attacks,
- seizures, and
- heat stroke
First Aid EssentialsAre you always prepared for a first aid crisis? See which basic first aid items to pack to treat minor scrapes, cuts, and stings when you're on the go.
Migraine TriggersPainful headaches can ruin your productivity and quality of life. But what triggers headaches and migraines? Learn some surprising causes of headaches and migraines plus how to find relief.
How Do You Give a Mandibular Nerve Block Injection?A mandibular nerve block is a procedure to numb the lower jaw (mandible) and a part of the mouth and tongue. An anesthetic solution is injected adjacent to the mandibular nerve to block the transmission of pain signals from the mandible to the brain. A mandibular nerve block is given for oral and dental procedures.
How Do You Give a Mental Nerve Block?A mental nerve block is a type of anesthesia used for numbing parts of the face. This type of anesthetic nerve block is mainly used for wound repair to the lip and chin, but also for surgery to correct nerve pain in the face.
How Do You Perform a Maxillary Nerve Block?A maxillary nerve block is a procedure that provides regional anesthesia to parts of the nose, upper jaw, cheek, and mouth. The maxilla is the plate of bone in the front of the face from below the eyes up to the top of the upper teeth.
lidocaine and prilocaine (EMLA)Lidocaine and prilocaine (DermacinRx, Prizopak, EMLA, Leva Set, Lidopril, Livixil Pak, LP Lite Pak, Oraqix, Relador Pak, Venipuncture CPI) is a local topical anesthetic cream used on normal intact skin and genital mucous areas prior to minor medical procedures. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to using this medication.
lidocaine injection (Xylocaine)Lidocaine HCl injection (Xylocaine)is a medication used for local or regional anesthesia to perform certain surgeries and procedures. Side effects, drug interactions, and indication should be discussed with your doctor before having this medication administered.
lidocaine/prilocaine disc - topical, Emla
Migraine HeadacheMigraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
Migraine HeadachesIs it a headache or a migraine? Learn what a migraine is, causes, symptoms, treatments, and at-home remedies.
Migraine HacksA migraine can be more than just a whopping headache. Try these self-care tips for relief before and after it hits.
Migraines SlideshowWhat does a migraine headache feel like compared to a tension headache? Learn to spot migraine symptoms early, how to identify your triggers, and get more information on migraine headache medications and treatments. Learn to tell migraine from other types of headaches.
Nerve BlocksNerve blocks are used for different pain treatment and management purposes. There are many different types of nerve blocks for specific areas of the body. A plexus or ganglion is a group of nerves that causes pain to a specific area of the body. The pain area is injected with a nerve-numbing substance called a nerve block.