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Ultrasound Guided Radiofrequency Ablation of the Suprascapular Nerve Versus Injection Block Technique: A Comparative Study in Patients with Chronic Shoulder Pain

The Medical Journal of Cairo University , Volume 87, pp 3859-3864; doi:10.21608/mjcu.2019.70137

Abstract: Background: Chronic shoulder pain affects the quality of life and limits daily activities. Suprascapular nerve block is an effective technique in management of chronic shoulder pain. Suprascapular injection technique had several drawbacks particularly repeated injections that may affect the patients' outcomes. RFA is considered a safe technique especially with ultrasound guidance, having a long duration of action with absence of any complications or organ damage.Aim of Study: This study aimed to examine the effective-ness of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the suprascapular nerve in comparison to the injection of lidocaine and hydro-cortisone mixture under ultrasound guidance.Patients and Methods: 20 patients with chronic shoulder pain were divided in to two equal groups one group was submitted to RFA of the suprascapular nerve using the Cool-Tip RF system and an internally cooled electrode (group A) and the other group had lidocaine and hydrocortisone mixture injection (group B) of the same nerve, both groups were followed-up over a period of 6 months with pre and post interventional assessment of the pain though visual analogue score for pain (VAS).Results: All patients had chronic shoulder pain not re-sponding to medical treatment and physiotherapy, after RFA, 6 patients were pain free, 4 cases had mild pain that responded to conservative treatment, regarding those of the injection group all cases had relief for 3 months, at 6 months, only 3 had no complain while 4 patients had recurrence and 3 had stationary course of pain relief.Conclusion: RFA proved to be a superior technique com-pared to the injection method in management of chronic shoulder pain.
Keywords: injection technique / quality of life / Suprascapular / patients had chronic shoulder / Patients with Chronic Shoulder Pain

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