Background and Aims Suprascapular nerve block (SSNB) is commonly used for shoulder analgesia. Two approaches are described but associated with risk and difficulties. We designed a cadaveric anatomical study to assess availability of an easier posterior approach.
Methods The probe is place above the scapula, move from medial to lateral to identify the upper edge of the scapula which will be shorter until it reaches the suprascapular notch (1-3). We continue until identify a superior bony growth of the scapula (corresponding to the coracoid process) (4). By moving laterally, we identify the infraspinous notch(5). Between the image of the suprascapular notch and the spinoglenoid notch, neurovascular bundle runs the fossa (4). At that point, we advance the needle ‘out of plane’, from medial to lateral, until bone contact. We injected 5ml of contrast, methylene blue and ropivacaine 0.5% mixture. We realize CT scanner and then dissected the suprascapular nerve in order to determine spread injection.
Results In all of the 20 blocks performed, suprascapular fossa was fully covered by contrast. Contrast passed through suprascapular notch (in 80%) and through spinoglenoid notch (in 75%). Anatomical dissections demonstrated that suprascapular fossa was colored in 90%. In 2 case, methylene blue move into suprascapular muscle. Suprascapular nerve is blue-toned in 85% of case before its separation in sensitive and motor branches.
Conclusions In this pre-clinical study, this SSN approach seems to be effectiveness. We postulate is easier referring to easy identifiable bone structure and associate with less risk.
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