Background and aims Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) for suprascapular nerve has been proposed as a therapeutic option in chronic shoulder pain. However, some cases remain pain and limited range of motion after treatment. In the present study, we aimed to assess the efficacy of ultrasound-guided PRF for lower subscapular nerve in patients who complained persisting shoulder pain after PRF for suprascapular nerve.
Methods A total of 15 patients with chronic intractable shoulder pain who did not respond to PRF for suprascapular nerve underwent ultrasound-guided R-RF treatment for lower subscapular nerve. Radio-frequency needle was inserted to the fascial space between teres major and subscapularis muscle, PRF was performed 42° C for 360 seconds. Pain intensity was scored using the numeric rating scale (NRS 0–10), and function was measured using simple shoulder test (SST).
Results There were 12 women and 3 men. Mean age was 58 years (range, 45–84). Significant decrease in pain (p<0.05) and significant improvement in shoulder function (p<0.05) were observed at 2 weeks (NRS; 7.8 to 4.3, SST; 2.0 to 4.8), 4 weeks (NRS; to 4.6, SST; to 4.7), and 8 weeks (NRS; to 4.6, SST; to 4.7) compared to baseline values before treatment. No serious complication was found in any patient.
Conclusions Ultrasound-guided PRF for lower subscapular nerve could be a useful treatment in the patients with intractable persistent shoulder pain and dysfunction which is not improved by PRF for suprascapular nerve.
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