Although many foot pathologies seen at our Practice can be treated effectively and painlessly without the need for local anaesthesia some pathologies will require the affected area to be numbed prior to treatment.
Local anaesthetics are injected adjacent to specific nerves depending on which part of the foot requires numbing. The injection site is sprayed with a very cold spray immediately before being given. This will create an area of frozen skin into which the injection is given and thus the patient is TOTALLY unaware of the needle entering the skin.
The local anaesthetic we use is Scandonest (3% Mepivacaine plain), the same that is used by the majority of Dentists in the UK. When the anaesthetic solution comes into contact with a nerve it blocks the transmission of nerve impulses thus causing numbness to an area of the foot that the nerve would normally provide sensation to.
Although many Podiatrists use local anaesthesia to numb toes (digital nerve block) not all will have a scope of practice that extends to undertaking regional nerve blocks behind the ankle, on top of the foot, and behind the knee. These regional nerve block sites will allow the Practitioner to numb any area of the foot effectively. Since we undertake minor skin surgery and other procedures over a variety of sites on the foot we therefore also undertake these regional nerve blocks regularly with good technique and proficiency.
In summary the use of local anaesthesia is able to offer our patients more invasive and effective treatments. Patients can be reassured that regardless of the type and severity of their foot problem, they will never experience any significant discomfort during treatment at our Surgery (this does not include Cryotherapy treatments on warts and verrucae). If presented with a pathology that is likely to be sore to treat then we will always ensure the area has been numbed first.