Indian Journal of Anaesthesia  
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 253-259

A randomized comparative study of efficacy of axillary and infraclavicular approaches for brachial plexus block for upper limb surgery using peripheral nerve stimulator

1 Department of Anaesthesiology & Intensive Care, Govt. Medical College, Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir, India
2 Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, Govt. Medical College, Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Vikram Uday Lahori
C 25/ X-1, C Block, MIG Flats, Dilshad Garden, Delhi - 95
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.82670

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Brachial plexus block via the axillary approach is problematic in patients with limited arm mobility. In such cases, the infraclavicular approach may be a valuable alternative. The purpose of our study was to compare axillary and infraclavicular techniques for brachial plexus block in patients undergoing forearm and hand surgeries. After obtaining institutional approval and written informed consent, 60 patients of American Society of Anaesthesiologists grade I or II scheduled for forearm and hand surgeries were included in the study and were randomly allocated into two groups. Brachial plexus block was performed via the vertical infraclavicular approach (VIB) in patients of Group I and axillary approach in Group A using a peripheral nerve stimulator. Sensory block in the distribution of individual nerves supplying the arm, motor block, duration of sensory block, incidence of successful block and various complications were recorded. Successful block was achieved in 90% of the patients in group I and in 87% of patients in group A. Intercostobrachial nerve blockade was significantly higher in group I. No statistically significant difference was found in sensory and motor blockade of other nerves. Both the approaches are comparable, but the VIB scores ahead of axillary block in terms of its ability to block more nerves. The VIB because of its easily identifiable landmarks, a comfortable patient position during the block procedure and the ability to block a larger spectrum of nerves should thus be considered as an effective alternative to the axillary approach.

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