What is It and How is It Done?

A Suprascapular nerve block is a long-acting steroid injection near the suprascapular nerve. The suprascapular nerve supplies feeling to the shoulder. This block can be used to help with a variety of issues including acute injury, postoperative pain, chronic regional pain syndrome, and chronic shoulder joint pain. During this procedure, the patient is placed in a facedown, laying position. The area is cleaned with betadine or alcohol. The physician will feel between the middle and top border of the shoulder blade for the notch. Using x-ray guidance, a small needle is then inserted into the notch, the goal being to be as close to the nerve as possible for effectiveness. Once in the proper position, a combination of local anesthetic and steroid is injected into the area.

What Are the Expected Results?

Pain may feel decreased at first due to the local anesthetic, but patients may experience additional soreness as a result of the injection after the numbing medication wears off. It may take 1-3 weeks for relief to set in, while others may experience relief sooner.

How Long Does It Take?

Generally, about 10 minutes for the procedure and 15-20 minutes for recovery time.

Will My Activities Be Decreased?

Not typically, but you may experience numbness or heaviness of the affected limb. You may consider decreasing activity for up to 12 hours after the injection.

What Are the Risks and or Side Effects?

Side effects and adverse reactions are rare. The most common side effect is temporary discomfort. Serious side effects and complications are uncommon. Other rare risks include but are not limited to: infection, bleeding, worsening of pain.

Suprascapular Nerve Block Video

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