Nerve blocks are techniques used to decrease the sensation of pain or to completely eliminate all sensation and allow surgery to take place without going to sleep. The nerve block is chosen based on the surgery to be performed and nerves that are located in the area of surgery. One of the most commonly used nerve blocks is an interscalene nerve block for shoulder surgery. The anesthesiologist will carefully sedate you and inject medications in the neck area where the nerves to the shoulder originate. The medications will then cause the nerve to “go to sleep” and all sensation will be lost or decreased depending on the dose of the medication. The beauty of this technique is that sometimes the procedure can be done with this alone with no need of General Anesthesia. When the patient awakens, they will feel no pain for hours or even a day later. The benefit is obvious. In addition, it will decrease the use of narcotics, a common cause of post-operative nausea. Because patients awaken with no pain their stay in recovery is decreased and they can be discharged home earlier. Despite these benefits there are some potential complications that need to be considered. Though these are infrequent, you as a consumer need to know about these. A separate chapter will discuss this in more detail.