In this controlled, randomized, double-blind study, we compared the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of ropivacaine and staged injection of lidocaine and ropivacaine in a combined lumbar plexus–sciatic nerve block. The experiment was performed in two parts: pharmacodynamics study (Group r, n = 20; Group lr, n = 20) and pharmacokinetics study (Group R, n = 10; Group LR, n = 10). The sciatic nerve blockade was performed using either (1) 10 mL of 2% lidocaine and then 10 mL of 0.75% ropivacaine (Group lr and Group LR) or (2) 10 mL of normal saline (N.S.) and then 10 mL of 0.75% ropivacaine (Group r and Group R). Two kinds of solutions were ‘staged’ injection. The sensory onset time and sensory recovery time were assessed in the pharmacodynamics study. Arterial blood samples were collected for the pharmacokinetics study. Sciatic sensory block onset times were reduced, and the sensory recovery times were decreased in Group lr. Cmax of ropivacaine in Group LR was significantly higher than that in Group R. A significant increase in AUC(0–t) and AUC(0–∞) was observed in Group LR compared with Group R. When 2% lidocaine and 0.75% ropivacaine are used for a combined sciatic nerve–lumbar plexus block by ‘staged’ injection, lidocaine induced faster onset times, decreased the block duration and increased the AUC and Cmax of ropivacaine.