- 2020;23;581-588A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Ultrasound-Guided Versus Landmark-Guided Suprascapular Nerve Block in Chronic Shoulder Pain: A Prospective Randomized Study
Randomized Controlled Trial
Gonca Saglam, MD, and Dilek Çetinkaya Alisar, MD.
BACKGROUND: Suprascapular nerve block (SSNB) is an effective therapeutic approach for shoulder pain and has been increasingly used by professionals in clinical practice. In the landmark-guided nerve block technique, it could be difficult to determine the exact localization of the suprascapular nerve.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate and compare the clinical and functional outcomes of ultrasound (US)-guided versus landmark-guided SSNB for the treatment of chronic shoulder pain.
STUDY DESIGN: Randomized, prospective analysis.
SETTING: Outpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation clinic.
METHODS: Seventy-two patients with chronic shoulder pain were enrolled into this study. The patients were randomly allocated to 2 groups. Thirty-six patients received US-guided SSNB and 36 underwent landmark-guided SSNB. Initial examinations before injection and for the first week and first and third months postinjection were recorded. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) pain intensity levels, shoulder functions based on the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI), and quality of life levels based on the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) were evaluated at each control.
RESULTS: Statistically significant recovery was observed in terms of VAS pain levels, SPADI, and HAQ from the first week after injection in both groups, but no significant difference was observed between the groups.
LIMITATIONS: The absence of a control group.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that US-guided SSNB does not potentially offer a significantly greater clinical improvement over landmark-guided SSNB in patients with chronic shoulder pain. Further research is required to establish whether this hypothesis is consistently supported in practice.
KEY WORDS: Shoulder pain, suprascapular nerve block, ultrasound