Post-operative pain control following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: peri-articular injection versus interscalene brachial plexus block
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To compare post-operative pain relief with peri-articular injection (PI) versus interscalene brachial plexus block (IBPB) after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ARCR) surgery.
We retrospectively reviewed 121 consecutive patients undergoing ARCR surgery divided into two groups: the PI group and the IBPB group. We compared complications and self-reported pain score measured using a Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) during the initial 24 hours after surgery.
The NRS scores recorded in the recovery room (0), 0.5, and four hours post-operatively were higher in the PI group (n = 38) than the IBPB group (n = 52) (2.1 vs. 0.8, p = 0.014; 1.4 vs. 0.5, p = 0.0069; and 1.3 vs. 0.5, p = 0.012, respectively). However, the NRS scores recorded at 16, 20, and 24 hours post-operatively were lower in the PI group than in the IBPB group (1.4 vs. 3.1, p < 0.0001; 1.4 vs. 3.2, p < 0.0001; and 1.7 vs. 3.2, p = 0.00046, respectively). The incidences of post-operative nausea and temporary numbness in the upper arm were significantly lower in the PI group than in the IBPB group (7.9% vs. 33%, p = 0.0052; and 13% vs. 85%, p < 0.0001, respectively).
Although IBPB provided superior pain control during the initial few hours after ARCR surgery, PI was superior from 16 to 24 hours post-operatively. The rates of side effects, such as nausea and temporary arm numbness, were also lower in the PI group than in the IBPB group.
KeywordsShoulder Pain management Peri-articular injection Interscalene brachial plexus block Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair
Compliance with ethical standards
The study protocol and publication plan were approved by our institutional ethics committee.
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