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Do local anaesthetics ever not work for some people? Feeling a bit shell shocked by my experience today :(

(34 Posts)
OuchyMcOuch Tue 29-Apr-14 18:07:42

I've just come home from hospital after an aborted attempt to have an operation on my foot. I opted to have it done under local thinking the recovery might be faster than under GA. Firstly I was quite unprepared for how painful it would feel as the local went in, but that's nothing compared to the pain as the surgeon started cutting. They tried giving me more local three times, each time he attempted to make an incision I could feel sharp pain. In the end they had to postpone the op as I'd eaten and couldn't have a GA. I feel really traumatised by the amount of pain I went through, I've never had a local anaesthetic before. Is it possible they just don't work for some people?

pornstache Tue 29-Apr-14 18:19:43

That sounds horrid.

I had two epidurals and while I can't say for sure if they diminished the pain I felt no immediate relief from pain and felt the ice on my leg throughout the labour. I eventually had to have a general anaesthetic.

Chopsypie Tue 29-Apr-14 18:21:53

Hope someone more knowledgable comes on soon OP. I know DH had to have 6(!) injections when he had his ingrown toenail removed and the nurse didn't look surprised so it may be more common that you realise

HolidayArmadillo Tue 29-Apr-14 18:24:58

You don't have hypermobility do you? People with that often need bucket loads of lignocaine to get a decent level of numbness in my experience.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 29-Apr-14 18:25:35

do you have hypermobility?

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 29-Apr-14 18:25:50


HumphreyCobbler Tue 29-Apr-14 18:26:36

This happens to my sister too, especially in her toes.

Sorry you went through this, it sounds grim

PartialFancy Tue 29-Apr-14 18:27:22


Local anaesthetic failure in joint hypermobility syndrome

Do you have Ehler-Danlos syndrome or any of the conditions EDS is commonly diagnosed as, eg M.E./C.F.S, fibromyalgia?

PartialFancy Tue 29-Apr-14 18:27:45

Another x-post!

itiswhatitiswhatitis Tue 29-Apr-14 18:27:59

Local anaesthetic didn't work on me either when I had to have my big toe nail removed as it was ingrown.

festered Tue 29-Apr-14 18:28:38

I have heard of local not working for many people, and of how painful the actual administration of the local is.

(It's the reason I insist on the 'wand' at the dentist)!

Personally, I have never had general anesthetic and I worry like hell about if I ever have to, because I worry about it not working but everyone reassures me that It's very safe!

306235388 Tue 29-Apr-14 18:29:48

Well, I always need loads of extra injections when having teeth worked on and an epidural failed completely.

Ds had an operation under GA but they put in a local which didn't work at all when he came round, he was in agony. He has hypermobllity...

OuchyMcOuch Tue 29-Apr-14 18:57:49

Oh my God, yes, I am hyper mobile!!!!!! I'm just in the middle of putting the kids to bed but I'll be back. Can't believe that could have been the cause of all my agony this afternoon.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 29-Apr-14 18:58:50

Yes!! Dr Mn gets something right smile yay!

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 29-Apr-14 19:16:43

blush sorry, that was inappropriate when you had such a horrid time of it. Do you know how long you have to wait until they have a go under GA?

OuchyMcOuch Tue 29-Apr-14 19:26:34

grin Oybbk... Don't worry! I'm just glad to have an answer.

I don't have any of those listed conditions (sorry, I don't know who posted that, I'm on the phone app and can't scroll back) but I do have quite a degree of hypermobility. I have scored quite highly on all the tests, can still put hands flat on the floor with straight legs (despite being 43grin), touch both wrists with my thumbs etc. in fact the reason for the op is my hypermobility, every silly little stumble seems to result in ruptured tendons and ligaments. A simple sprained ankle resulted in me rupturing 2 tendons and breaking a bone in my foot.

Shouldn't the consultant have realised that. I don't think my hypermobility is writ large all over my notes, but I think we have discussed it in the context of my injury.

To be honest he was so grumpy and bad tempered because I was writhing in agony. Miserable tosser, why are orthos so horrible? grin

OuchyMcOuch Tue 29-Apr-14 19:28:42

Sorry, oybbk, didn't see that last bit... They can reschedule me in a month. I've waited 2 years, I can wait another month.

I think I'm going to have a stiff drink, after all I've got the worst of all results today: still a gammy foot and a large incision that stings like a bastard!

FanFuckingTastic Tue 29-Apr-14 19:29:07

I have issues with local anaesthetic too, particularly dental. I get them for a general clean as I have some receded gums and exposed nerve bits. I've had injection after injection and everything is fairly numb, but I still feel the pain really badly. I had to have my clean over two sessions because of the time it took and the pain I was in. They also make me get really bad shakes.

When I had a cystoscopy the LA ever worked either, that pain was unreal! I don't know how I didn't kick a doctor. My bladder and urethra were inflamed too, so extra pain for me.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 29-Apr-14 19:30:50

I should have thought he would have known it but I guess its more the remit of a rheumy. He shouldnt have been - it's not your fault - local anaesthetics are supposed to work!

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 29-Apr-14 19:32:37

Stiff drink is essential! Perhaps if he'd given you one just before your attempted op it would have been much more bearable!

OuchyMcOuch Tue 29-Apr-14 19:58:18

I've had 2 caesarians so I thought I would be ok, but then I suppose a spinal block is the mother of all locals!

He kept asking me if I had problems at the dentist, I did manage to get in a stealth brag that I have perfect teeth and I've never had to have anything done at the dentists (see, I've done it again! smile )

OuchyMcOuch Tue 29-Apr-14 19:59:41

OYBBK.... I thought I was going to have a sedation... My mum had an op under local recently and they gave her rohypnol. She said it was fab grin

PseudoBadger Tue 29-Apr-14 20:03:32

Locals don't work very well on me, I've had my eyebrow stitched and a melanoma removed from my shoulder both giving me great pain. However, I'm surely the very antithesis of hypermobile grin

Mumoftwoyoungkids Tue 29-Apr-14 20:07:17

I remember my dh screaming in agony when he had a muscle biopsy done. They put it in, didn't work, put more in, still no good, put more in, still no good, so did it anyway! At least it was quick!

My best friend was an A&E doctor at the time - she reckons that the advised levels of local are far too low and that you should just keep "bunging it in"!

OuchyMcOuch Tue 29-Apr-14 20:20:37

Mumoftwo.... The bunging it in was excruciating, but at least that bit only lasted a few seconds each time. The worst was when he started cutting, I'm not sure I could have coped once he started digging about in the joint <shudders>

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