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A prospective, comparative study of subacromial corticosteroid injection and subacromial corticosteroid injection plus suprascapular nerve block in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome



Efforts are recently focused on the management of shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS) with a conservative and targeted approach because of its psychosocial impact, reduction in the quality of life, the cost to the economy and its negative effect on daily activities. Therefore, many studies have been designed to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of different treatments. The main purpose of this study was to identify the effect of combination of subacromial corticosteroid injection (SCI) and suprascapular nerve block (SSNB) on shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS).

Materials and methods

66 patients with SIS were randomly divided into two groups (33 patients per group): Group 1: SCI; Group 2: SCI plus SSNB. The estimation of the severity of pain by the visual analogue scale (VAS) and shoulder disability using quick DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) were assessed at baseline and 1, 3 months post-injection.


The mean age of patients was 55.55 ± 10.42 years in Group 1 and 57.24 ± 12.75 years in Group 2. In steroid group, pre- and post-treatment (at 1 and 3 months) VAS/quickDASH scores were 8.64 ± 0.99/78.03 ± 9.24, 2.09 ± 0.84/15.58 ± 7.23 and 3.06 ± 1.12/25.06 ± 8.74, respectively. In steroid plus SSNB group, pre- and post-treatment (at 1 and 3 months) VAS/quickDASH scores were 8.45 ± 0.90/75.15 ± 9.86, 1.24 ± 0.43/10.88 ± 2.14 and 1.51 ± 0.56/15.51 ± 5.04, respectively. Both treatment groups showed a significant relief of pain at 1 and 3 months post-injection (p < 0.05). However, the VAS and quickDASH scores at 1 and 3 months were significantly lower in Group 2 versus Group 1 (p < 0.05).


The combination of SCI and SSNB seems to produce the long-term effect in pain relief and functional improvement.

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Correspondence to Ebru Yilmaz.

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Yilmaz, E. A prospective, comparative study of subacromial corticosteroid injection and subacromial corticosteroid injection plus suprascapular nerve block in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 141, 733–741 (2021).

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  • Subacromial impingement syndrome
  • Subacromial corticosteroid injection
  • Suprascapular nerve block
  • Combined therapy