SUPRASCAPULAR NERVE BLOCK FOR THE TREATMENT OF ADHESIVE CAPSULITIS
Authors: Ernst Shanahan et al.
54 patients with adhesive capsulitis participated in this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of standard therapy plus placebo injection versus standard therapy plus suprascapular nerve block ((SSNB). Standard therapy comprised an intra-articular glenohumeral joint injection of 20 mg triamcinolone at time zero plus a physiotherapist supervised exercise program. Patients received either a SSNB (10 ml of 0.5% bupivacaine and 40 mg of depomedrol) or placebo (3 ml of subcutaneous normal saline) injection at time zero and then at 3 monthly intervals until resolution.
The mean time to resolution of the symptoms was 5,4 months (CI 4,4-6.3) in the active group versus 11.2 months (CI 9.3-13.0) in the placebo group. Pain, disability, patient perceived rate of recovery and range of movement scores were significantly better in the actively treated group compared with the placebo group at all time intervals.
Suprascapular nerve block is highly effective in reducing the duration of frozen shoulder. It reduces pain significantly and is associated with high levels of patient satisfaction with recovery. It is safe and can be recommended as a useful adjunct therapy.
In the future I will use this treatment modality regularly in patients with frozen shoulder besides intraarticular injection of triamcinolone and physiotherapy.