The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of arthroscopy-guided direct suprascapular nerve block performed after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
In the present prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical study, 30 patients were divided into two groups: 15 patients (group I) were treated with arthroscopy-guided suprascapular nerve block using 10 mL 0.5 % ropivacaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine, and 15 patients (group II) were treated with placebo using 10 mL 0.9 % saline after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. Patient pain levels were measured using the visual analog scale (VAS) at 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 h post-operatively. Additionally, the number of boluses and total amount of fentanyl dispensed by patient-controlled analgesia administration during the 24-h post-operative period were evaluated.
VAS scores did not differ significantly between groups I and II during the 24-h post-operative period, but mean fentanyl bolus consumption was significantly less in group I compared with group II (p = 0.015).
Arthroscopy-guided suprascapular nerve block at the end of a rotator cuff repair was safe and less time-consuming than expected. Although this procedure did not significantly reduce the post-operative pain, the post-operative need for fentanyl boluses as analgesia was reduced significantly, and it would be beneficial if this procedure involved a sensory branch of axillary nerve block or was performed at the beginning of the arthroscopic procedure.
Level of evidence
Prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial, Level I.
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Lee, J.J., Yoo, YS., Hwang, JT. et al. Efficacy of direct arthroscopy-guided suprascapular nerve block after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: a prospective randomized study. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 23, 562–566 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-013-2451-x