Anaesthetic terms explained

Spinal Anaesthetic

This is an injection in the lower part of your back. It is similar to an epidural that many women have for childbirth but it is much more powerful and will give numbness from your tummy button to your toes. It normally works for about 4 hours. Over 300,000 spinals are put in in the UK every year and they have an excellent track safety record with the incidence of long term nerve damage being about 1:40,000. Spinals are normally perfomed with you awake and sitting up. Once the injection is given nothing is left in your back so you can lie flat.

General Anaesthetic (GA)

Here you are put to sleep for the operation and will have no recollection of any of the events whilst you are asleep.


This can be given to patients who do not want a general anaesthetic. It will make you feel more relaxed which most patients find it very pleasant. Recollection of events with sedation is not predictable so you may remember the operation but you would not feel anything.

Nerve Blocks

Local anaesthetic is placed around nerves to numb the area that that nerve supplies. The anaesthetist uses an ultrasound machine to identify the nerves so ensuring that the local anaesthetic is put exactly in the correct place. Nerve blocks are commonly used for both knee and frame surgery and form part of the multimodal approach we take in managing pain relief after surgery. Although certain types of surgery can be performed under nerve blocks alone, most of the surgery Mr Qureshi does is not amenable to this. Nerve blocks have a good safety record with the main risk being long term nerve damage which occurs in around 1:10,000 patients. We offer nerve blocks when we think it will be beneficial to you as failure to control early post operative pain can affect your rehabilitation and lead to the initiation of long term chronic pain.

Local Anaesthetic Infiltration

Mr Qureshi injects large amount of local anaesthetic into various areas within the surgical fields of his hip and knee patients. This significantly helps with the post-operative pain management.

Please see the following leaflets for more information on your anaesthetic: