This article was originally published here
Pain Ther. 2021 Oct 20. doi: 10.1007/s40122-021-00326-0. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study is to verify if the shoulder anterior capsular block (SHAC), combined with other nerve blocks, is effective in relieving shoulder pain, avoiding motor block and allowing an early rehabilitation program.
METHODS: Seventy-five consecutive patients with painful shoulder were treated with the SHAC, alone (30 patients) or in combination with a suprascapular nerve block (SSnb: 25 patients) or with pectoralis and serratus plane block (PECS-2: 20 patients). All blocks were performed with 0.2% ropivacaine plus 8 mg dexamethasone. All patients were treated with three-weekly physiotherapy sessions for the following 2 weeks and then with home exercises.
RESULTS: The post-procedural analgesic effect was strong in all groups, with a mean change in numeric rating scale (NRS) values of -6.05 in group 1, -6.25 in group 2, and -6.19 in group 3 (p < .0001), allowing all patients to complete an immediate physiotherapy session. Only a few patients needed to repeat the procedure 1 week after the first treatment for the recurrence of pain. From the treatment to the end of the follow-up, we noted a further drop in mean pain NRS values of 1.90 in group 1 and 1.80 in groups 2 and 3. No difference in effect over time was observed among the different groups. No adverse event or motor block was recorded.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the SHAC, alone or in combination with other peripheral nerve blocks, is an attractive alternative for shoulder pain management, especially when physiotherapy is required to recover shoulder function.