Suprascapular Nerve Block versus Glenohumeral Intraarticular Injection for Treatment of Chronic Shoulder Pain - A Comparative Study

Author(s): Seema K, Sumitra S, Susheel S, Ajay KS

Objective

To evaluate and compare the suprascapular nerve block and glenohumeral intraarticular joint injection in treatment of chronic shoulder pain

Study design

The present prospective randomized study was conducted in the Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak. Fifty patients of either sex, between 40-80 yrs of age, with chronic shoulder pain. The patients were randomly divided in two groups of 25 patients each. Patients received either suprascapular nerve block under ultrasound guidance or intraarticular injection using anterior approach.

Results

Mean age, sex distribution and duration of symptoms in each group were comparable. There was an overall significant (p<0.05) improvement in all range of shoulder movements i.e. flexion, extension, abduction, internal rotation and external rotation in both the groups from the baseline value immediately following the block which was maintained at 1 week and at 4 weeks after the procedure. The improvement of movement in Group I (suprascapular nerve block) was statistically significant (p<0.05) as compare to Group II (intraarticular injection) for flexion, abduction, and internal rotation at all time during follow up.

Conclusions

Both suprascapular nerve block and glenohumeral intraarticular injection are safe and effective methods for management of chronic shoulder pain. Suprascapular nerve block is superior to intraarticular injection with regard to improvement of pain, range of motion and functional activity.

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