To Block or Not to Block: Role of Ultrasonography in Guiding an Anesthetic Plan for a Patient With Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

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A 31-year-old man scheduled for a fifth metatarsal head resection secondary to osteomyelitis presented to the preoperative holding area for placement of an ultrasound-guided popliteal nerve block as part of a multimodal pain management plan. During the preoperative evaluation, a medical history of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease was noted. The patient had decreased range of motion and neuropathy in both lower extremities and required an assistive device when ambulating. Before placement of the block, a pre-procedure scan of the popliteal fossa revealed abnormal sonoanatomy of the distal sciatic nerve as well as the proximal tibial and common peroneal nerve branches. The surgeon was consulted regarding the ultrasonography findings, and the proposed block was abandoned. A field block proximal to the surgical site was performed under monitored anesthesia care, with an understanding that the case would convert to general anesthesia using a laryngeal mask airway if the procedure was not tolerated. The surgery was performed as planned without any difficulties, and the patient was transferred to the postanesthesia care unit. The postoperative course was uneventful, and the patient was discharged home.






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