Learning About Caudal Blocks for Children

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Regions of the spine

What is a caudal block?

A caudal block is a shot of numbing medicine. For some surgeries on an area below the belly button, a doctor may do a caudal block to numb the area of the surgery. It may also be used to help keep your child as pain-free as possible in the first few hours after surgery.

A caudal block is usually combined with general anesthesia or sedation. Those medicines make your child feel relaxed or fall asleep during surgery.

How is a caudal block done?

The injection goes into the lower part of your child's back. It enters into the epidural space near the nerves at the end of the tailbone. The block numbs those nerves so your child won't feel pain. This is done after your child is asleep.

What can you expect after your child's caudal block?

The caudal block may affect how well your child can move their legs. Follow your doctor's instructions to keep your child safe until the block wears off. That usually takes 3 to 6 hours.

Problems from a nerve block are rare. There is a small risk of problems like bleeding, damage to nerves, and infection.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.