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Local Anesthetic Caudal Block

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What is a caudal block?

A caudal block is a special type of anesthesia. The doctor injects a small amount of numbing medicine near the tailbone to decrease feeling below the umbilicus (belly button) for a short time. The caudal block is done while the child is asleep, before the surgery starts. The medicine bathes and numbs the nerves that carry feelings  to the spinal cord. It is a safe and effective way to decrease pain after surgery. Caudal blocks can be given to patients as young as one week of age to adulthood. The final decision as to whether or not your child may have a caudal is made by your child's anesthesiologist and surgeon.  

Why are caudals used?

Caudal block anesthesia relieves the pain your child feels when waking up from surgery and reduces the amount of general anesthetic needed during the procedure. The effects of the caudal block last 4-10 hours.

Side effects of a caudal block:

  • Numbness and/or tingling in the legs is normal. Decreased feeling may include not being able to feel hot and cold sensation as well.
  • Your child may be unsteady on his/her feet after having a caudal block. For safety, be sure to support your child when he/she walks for the next 4-10 hours.
  • Your child may have a little difficulty urinating after a caudal block. This is a rare side effect. If your child has not been able to pass urine for 8-10 hours after surgery, you should call your child's doctor.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 05/2012

(757) 668-7000