What is the role of suprascapular nerve block in pain management?

Updated: Jun 19, 2018
  • Author: Anthony H Wheeler, MD; Chief Editor: Meda Raghavendra (Raghu), MD  more...
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The suprascapular nerve branches from the brachial plexus and serves as the primary sensory supply for the shoulder joint. Suprascapular nerve block can be helpful for the management of severe pain caused by bursitis, periarthritis, or arthritis when intra-articular and periarticular injection of LA and steroids are contraindicated, ineffective, or to be avoided.

Suprascapular nerve block provides anesthesia to the shoulder joint, which allows physical therapy to implement improved range of motion caused by adhesive capsulitis or excessive periarticular muscle guarding. Technically the procedure is easy to perform; however, satisfactory blockade is not achieved uniformly in all cases. When blockade is inadequate, concomitant use of radiography or a peripheral nerve stimulator can provide more accurate placement of the needle and improve anesthetic administration.

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