Podcast 571:  Digital Blocks - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 571:  Digital Blocks

Contributor: Jared Scott, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Traditional digital block involves dorsal approach on either side of the digit, injecting local anesthetic along each side to numb all four nerves of the digit
  • Newer approach involves a single injection along the palmar surface at MCP joint
  • Recent study further compared a proximal vs distal single palmar (volar) injection with sites at the MCP and PIP joints
  • Injection sites achieved similar anesthesia between groups but PIP injection site had faster time of onset – 2.5 minutes compared to 3.8 minutes


Choi S, Cho YS, Kang B, Kim GW, Han S. The difference of subcutaneous digital nerve block method efficacy according to injection location. Am J Emerg Med. 2020;38(1):95‐98. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2019.04.031

Summarized by Jackson Roos, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

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