Suprascapular Nerve Block for Postoperative Pain Control in Shoulder Arthroscopic Surgery: A Randomized Control Trial

Jomaa Mohammad

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Lebanese University, Hadath, Lebanon.

Nasserdine Ali

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Université Paris Cité, Paris, France.

Nader Fadi *

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Université Paris Cité, Paris, France.

Bassil Georges

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Lebanese University, Hadath, Lebanon.

Noureddine El Moussaoui Zahraa

Department of Neurology, Lebanese University, Hadath, Lebanon.

Kourtian Vatche

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Lebanese Hospital Geitaoui-University Medical Center, Lebanon.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is known to cause severe postoperative pain. We conducted a randomized control trial to evaluate the efficacy of suprascapular nerve block (SSB) in the reduction of this pain and the increase of patient satisfaction. 

Methods: 34 patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery under general anesthesia were prospectively randomized into two groups: 20 patients received suprascapular nerve block (SSB)  and 14 patients received placebo (control group). Patient pain levels were measured using the numerical rating scale (NRS) in the recovery room, 2-4 hours, and 24 h after surgery. Analgesic and opioid consumption was evaluated during the first 24 hours. Patient satisfaction was assessed at 48 hours post-operatively.

Results: compared to the control group, the SSN group reported significantly lower levels of postoperative pain in the recovery room (3.2 vs. 7.7), 2-4 hours postoperatively (3.6 vs. 7.6) and at 24 hours post-operatively (5.35 vs. 7.2). Also, SSB patients required significantly less analgesic (60% requiring 1-2 ampoules vs. 83% requiring 2-3 ampoules) and no opioids at all (0% vs. 14.3%). They had higher levels of postoperative satisfaction (1.55 vs. 0.6).

Conclusion: Patients treated with suprascapular block had less pain during the first 24 hours after surgery, which led to a decreased need for analgesics. Furthermore, patients were significantly more satisfied with the operation. We conclude that SSB may be an effective modality for post-operative analgesia.

Level of Evidence: Prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial, Level I evidence

Keywords: Suprascapular, nerve block, shoulder, arthroscopy, post-operative analgesia

How to Cite

Mohammad , Jomaa, Nasserdine Ali, Nader Fadi, Bassil Georges, Noureddine El Moussaoui Zahraa, and Kourtian Vatche. 2023. “Suprascapular Nerve Block for Postoperative Pain Control in Shoulder Arthroscopic Surgery: A Randomized Control Trial”. Asian Journal of Orthopaedic Research 6 (2):120-31.


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