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Hematoma Block for Distal Radius Fracture

Hematoma blocks are safe and effective in providing analgesia for fracture reduction1-4. They involve injecting lidocaine directly into the fracture line for analgesia. The physician aspirates blood prior to injection to confirm placement in the hematoma created by the fracture. However, the procedure can be technically difficult if the fracture line is difficult to palpate, for example, due to significant swelling or body habitus. Ultrasound has been shown to improve efficacy in other analgesic procedures such as peripheral nerve blocks5 and also in identifying fracture lines6. There have been case reports and case series which have shown the feasibility and effectiveness of ultrasound guided hematoma blocks for analgesia in patients undergoing reduction for distal radius fractures7,8. To our knowledge there are no randomized controlled trials comparing the use of ultrasound guided hematoma blocks versus traditional hematoma blocks in achieving analgesia for distal radius fracture reduction.

In this study, we will determine if ultrasound improves the efficacy of analgesia when performing hematoma blocks for reduction of distal radius fractures.