Efficacy of ultrasound-guided suprascapular nerve block treatment in patients with painful hemiplegic shoulder

  • Tuğba AydınEmail author
  • Ekin İlke Şen
  • Merve Yıldız Yardımcı
  • Fatma Nur Kesiktaş
  • Kadriye Öneş
  • Nurdan Paker
Original Article



The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasound-guided suprascapular block treatment in patients with painful hemiplegic shoulder whose pain was not reduced after conservative treatment.


The patients were those whose hemiplegic shoulder pain was not reduced by standard conservative treatment prior to discharge. The study group (n = 21) included patients who had undergone an ultrasound-guided suprascapular nerve block (SSNB). The control group (n = 21) were patients who had not undergone SSNB. Both groups undertook home exercise programs. All patients were evaluated at 1 week and 1 and 3 months after the discharge. Evaluations included shoulder range of motion (ROM), Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for pain, EQ-5D-3L for quality of life, the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), and Brunnstrom staging.


The shoulder ROM significantly increased in the SSNB group at 1–3 months, when compared with the baseline value. The shoulder ROM significantly decreased (p ˂ 0.05) in the control group at 1–3 months, when compared with the baseline value. The pain VAS and EQ-5D-3L scores significantly decreased (p ˂ 0.05) after treatment in the follow-ups at 1 month in the SSNB group. The control group showed no change from the baseline scores (p ˃ 0.05). The MAS scores and Brunnstrom staging did not differ between the two groups.


The ultrasound-guided SSNB is a safe and more effective treatment than conservative treatment for painful hemiplegic shoulder. Further studies are needed to compare ultrasound-guided and non-guided suprascapular blocks as treatments for hemiplegic shoulder pain.


Ultrasound-guided suprascapular nerve block Painful hemiplegic shoulder Suprascapular nerve 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors.


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuğba Aydın
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ekin İlke Şen
    • 2
  • Merve Yıldız Yardımcı
    • 1
  • Fatma Nur Kesiktaş
    • 1
  • Kadriye Öneş
    • 1
  • Nurdan Paker
    • 1
  1. 1.Istanbul Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training and Research HospitalIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationIstanbul University Istanbul Faculty of MedicineIstanbulTurkey

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