In today’s article, read about a procedure used to diagnose and treat shoulder pain
What is a Suprascapular Nerve Block?
A Suprascapular Nerve Block is an outpatient procedure that is performed to ease pain and discomfort in the shoulder joint. This is done by blocking the suprascapular nerve, which is one of the major motor nerves that supply the muscles in the shoulder.
Who needs a Suprascapular Nerve Block?
This procedure is used to treat symptoms of pain and discomfort in the shoulder. Often, these symptoms are caused by conditions like arthritis, bursitis, or suprascapular nerve impingement.
What are the steps in a Suprascapular Nerve Block?
Preparing for the Procedure
Once the patient has been properly positioned and the shoulder has been cleaned and sterilized, the injection site is numbed with a local anesthetic.
Once all preparations have been completed, your physician will use a type of x-ray device, called a fluoroscope, to navigate a needle to the suprascapular nerve at the point in the back of your shoulder where it runs between the acromion and scapula. To confirm that the correct location has been found, your doctor will then inject a contrast dye. Once confirmed, your doctor will inject some numbing medication. The spot is confirmed as a possible cause of your pain if relief is felt after the medication is injected.
For longer term relief of pain, your doctor then injects Cortisone in the area of the nerve and surrounding tissues to ease inflammation.
Ending the Procedure
The needle is then removed, and the site is bandaged.
This procedure is performed on an outpatient bases. Within two to seven days after the injection, pain relief may be felt.