Suprascapular Nerve Block

The suprascapular nerve runs in a groove near the top of the scapula (shoulder blade). It is not thought to carry messages that make the arm move but instead carries messages to the brain that may include sensations of pain.

Thus an injection of local anaesthetic around the nerve is unlikely to make the arm weak but can have a significant action on some pains felt in and around the shoulder. The details of the procedure itself are just about the same as for trigger point injections.

The substance injected is usually a combination of local anaesthetic and a low dose of steroid. The local anaesthetic is thought to give a rapid albeit often quite brief benefit whilst the steroid can take longer to work but is expected to provide longer relief. The duration of benefit is variable although several months would be expected, and they can be repeated if they are felt to last long enough.

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