Finger Digital Block

General Surgery Online Notebook

by Calvin Lee, MD, Board Certified General Surgeon, Modesto, CA and advice from Tammy Wu, MD, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Modesto, CA.

This information is intended for medical professionals and medical students only.  I have written this based on my experience and the target audience is the medical students and physician assistant students that have been under my guidance rotating through the medical hospitals and offices in Modesto, Turlock, and Stockton, California.

First the issue of epinephrine in the lidocaine used for the block.  It is controversial, but the idea is not to use epinephrine for fear of causing ischemia.  For starters, I would recommend not using any epinephrine when injecting lidocaine for a digital block, but know that there are doctors who use epinephrine for such blocks, and it is not considered "wrong" technique.  In general the closer to the tip that the block is provided, the higher the risk of ischemia.  Thus, I'm describing here the base of finger digital block.

Digital Anesthesia with Epinephrine: An Old Myth Revisited." The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2004;51:755-759

Equipment needed for digital block

Steps for performing a digital block at base of finger


Links on the web about local anesthesia and regional nerve block

Websites by Dr. Calvin Lee, Modesto General Surgeon, various topics - a collection and description of Dr. Lee's websites - most related to Modesto. - Surgical Artistry's main webpage. - Dr. Lee's main page.

General Surgeon Modesto, CA counter with Dr. Tammy Wu, plastic surgeon(webcounter)

Last modified:  12/30/2006