Suprascapular Nerve Block (Fluoroscopically Guided)

shoulder rear view

Overview
This outpatient procedure is used to treat pain and
discomfort from arthritis, bursitis or impingement of
the suprascapular nerve in the shoulder joint. The
suprascapular nerve is a major motor nerve that
serves the muscles of the shoulder.


Preparation
The patient is positioned so that the back of the
shoulder is clearly visible to the physician, and the
area is cleaned and sterilized. Local anesthesia is
administered to numb the injection site.


Diagnostic Injection
The physician uses an x-ray device called a
fluoroscope to guide a needle to the suprascapular
nerve where it passes between the acromion and
scapula on the back of the shoulder. Contrast dye
is injected to confirm the needle's position. Then a
small amount of numbing medication is injected. If
the patient's pain is fully or partially relieved, the
spot is a likely source of pain.


Pain Relief Injection
The physician administers medication to provide
longer-lasting relief. Cortisone is injected through
the needle to bathe the nerve and tissues and
reduce inflammation.


End of Procedure
The needle is removed, and the injection site may
be covered with a small bandage. Extended pain
relief usually begins within 2-7 days of the injection.

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