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Chapter 175 – Saddle Block Anesthesia

Peter W. Grigg

Saddle block anesthesia provides pain relief in the area of the perineum, buttocks, and inner thigh by using an intrathecal (spinal) injection of local anesthetic. A saddle block may be confused with a caudal block (injection of local anesthetic into the sacral canal through the sacral hiatus) because the resultant anesthesia may be similar, but the technique is different. This chapter describes the low-spinal saddle block technique. An ideal “saddle block” anesthetizes the area that would touch a saddle if the patient were riding a horse.

With the advent of more complex techniques for producing analgesia and anesthesia, including single-dose intrathecal opiates and combined spinal epidural and continuous spinal infusions, traditional saddle block (low spinal) is used less often.

Saddle block anesthesia has been used for many years for both surgical procedures and obstetric deliveries. Past problems with profound motor paralysis can be …