Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 2121–2128 | Cite as

Effects of arthroscopy-guided suprascapular nerve block combined with ultrasound-guided interscalene brachial plexus block for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: a randomized controlled trial

  • Jae Jun Lee
  • Jung-Taek HwangEmail author
  • Do-Young Kim
  • Sang-Soo Lee
  • Sung Mi Hwang
  • Na Rea Lee
  • Byung-Chan Kwak



The aim of this study was to compare the pain relieving effect of ultrasound-guided interscalene brachial plexus block (ISB) combined with arthroscopy-guided suprascapular nerve block (SSNB) with that of ultrasound-guided ISB alone within the first 48 h after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.


Forty-eight patients with rotator cuff tears who had undergone arthroscopic rotator cuff repair were enrolled. The 24 patients in group 1 received ultrasound-guided ISB and arthroscopy-guided SSNB; the remaining 24 patients in group 2 underwent ultrasound-guided ISB alone. Visual analogue scale pain score and patient satisfaction score were checked at 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 48 h post-operatively.


Group 1 had a lower visual analogue scale pain score at 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 48 h post-operatively (1.7 < 2.6, 1.6 < 4.0, 3.5 < 5.8, 3.6 < 5.2, 3.2 < 4.2, 1.3 < 2.0), and a higher patient satisfaction score at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 h post-operatively than group 2 (7.8 > 6.0, 6.2 > 4.3, 6.4 > 5.1, 6.9 > 5.9, 7.9 > 7.1). Six patients in group 1 developed rebound pain twice, and the others in group 1 developed it once. All of the patients in group 2 had one rebound phenomenon each (p = 0.010). The mean timing of rebound pain in group 1 was later than that in group 2 (15.5 > 9.3 h, p < 0.001), and the mean size of rebound pain was smaller in group 1 than that in group 2 (2.5 > 4.0, p = 0.001).


Arthroscopy-guided SSNB combined with ultrasound-guided ISB resulted in lower visual analogue scale pain scores at 3–24 and 48 h post-operatively, and higher patient satisfaction scores at 6–36 h post-operatively with the attenuated rebound pain compared to scores in patients who received ultrasound-guided ISB alone after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The combined blocks may relieve post-operative pain more effectively than the single block within 48 h after arthroscopic cuff repair.

Level of evidence

Randomized controlled trial, Level I. Identifier: NCT02424630.


Interscalene brachial plexus block Suprascapular nerve block Post-operative pain Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair 



We thank to Myung-Guk Cho, an orthopaedic resident, for gathering data, to Ok-Hwa Park, a regular nurse who was specially trained for orthopaedics, for checking shoulder scoring sheets, and to Jae-Heung Jee, an orthopaedic technician, for measuring muscle power to calculate constant scores. This research was supported by Hallym University Research Fund 2013 (HURF-2013-34).


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Copyright information

© European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jae Jun Lee
    • 1
  • Jung-Taek Hwang
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Do-Young Kim
    • 2
  • Sang-Soo Lee
    • 2
  • Sung Mi Hwang
    • 1
  • Na Rea Lee
    • 1
  • Byung-Chan Kwak
    • 2
  1. 1.Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, College of MedicineHallym UniversityChuncheon-siRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, College of MedicineHallym UniversityChuncheon-siRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Orthopedic SurgeryMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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