Ultrasound as a Useful Tool for a Peripheral Nerve Surgeon: Examples in Clinical Practice

I would like to celebrate the acceptance and publication of a scientific article on the use of ultrasound in the practice of peripheral nerve surgery in the Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery.  While Dr. Williams was the senior author on this paper, he wants to give credit to the other authors on this paper who assisted and performed the majority of the “heavy lifting” and “grunt work” that it takes to get a paper like this into print.  I  was blessed to have several very capable residents (some of whom have now graduated and have their own practices) and medical students who were associated with the Johns Hopkins Department of Plastic Surgery, assist in getting this project completed.   It would never have been completed without their amazing help!  Thanks guys!     

This paper was written to encourage more peripheral nerve surgeons to learn to use ultrasound so that they can perform their own nerve blocks to better help them make a more accurate diagnosis for their patients.   We feel that it is safer for the patient, because the nerve blocks and injections are better “guided” using the ultrasound that can track the tip of the needle.   Also we feel it is important because the physician who is actually performing the injection can actually see the patient’s response themselves, and the patient can directly communicate with the surgeon in “real time” what is actually happening and what type of improvement they have had instead of relying on notes from other doctors or from the patient’s own memory from an event that may have happened over a month prior.    We like the idea of closing the gap of time between the block and the decision of what may be the next step in the patient’s care.    We really like the idea of being safer and more accurately placed as well.   While we cannot and should not always perform our own injections, we certainly love to do this when we are able.   

Again, I wanted to thank my team who worked hard on this!