Rectus sheath block: successful use in the chronic pain management of pediatric abdominal wall pain


Gillian R. Lauder, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol, UK (email


Seven pediatric patients (aged 11–16 years) with chronic abdominal wall pain are presented who gained significant relief from a rectus sheath block (RSB). We describe the case histories and review the relevant literature for this technique. The etiology of the abdominal wall pain was considered to be abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment, iatrogenic peripheral nerve injury, myofascial pain syndrome or was unknown. All patients showed significant initial improvement in pain and quality of life. Three patients required only the RSB to enable them to be pain-free and return to normal schooling and physical activities. Two children received complete relief for more than 1 year. In the majority of cases, the procedure was carried out under general anesthesia as a daycase procedure. Local anesthetic and steroids were used. This is the first report of the successful use of this technique in the chronic pain management setting in children.