The shoulder block: A new alternative to interscalene brachial plexus blockade for the control of postoperative shoulder pain
ABSTRACT This report describes the development of the shoulder block, an alternative to interscalene brachial plexus blockade for the control of postoperative pain following shoulder surgery. Included is a review of the relevant anatomy of the shoulder joint and its associated structures. Two nerves provide the bulk of the innervation to this area: the suprascapular nerve and the axillary (circumflex) nerve. The shoulder block technique involves selective blockade of both of these nerves instead of general blockade of the entire brachial plexus via the interscalene route. The technique of Meier is used to block the suprascapular nerve in the supraspinous fossa. No descriptions of axillary nerve block were available in the literature, so a technique for blocking this nerve as it travels across the posterior surface of the humerus was developed and is described, along with a discussion of the author's initial clinical experience.
- Annales francaises d'anesthesie et de reanimation 04/2009; 28(3):e85-94. DOI:10.1016/j.annfar.2009.02.012 · 0.84 Impact Factor
Article: Upper limb blocks[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This article discusses recent innovations and changes in practice in upper limb regional anaesthesia, dividing the blocks into those performed above the clavicle, those performed in the area of the clavicle and those performed below it. It offers a critical appraisal of the current status with regard to the use of ultrasound nerve location for upper limb regional anaesthesia and, while accepting that the use of ultrasound in this way has many theoretical advantages and will therefore continue to grow, concludes that there is currently insufficient published evidence to determine conclusively that the use of this technique is associated with nerve blocks that are more successful or safer.Anaesthesia 04/2010; 65 Suppl 1:48-56. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2044.2010.06277.x · 3.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Shoulder surgery is well recognised as having the potential to cause severe postoperative pain. The aim of this review is to assess critically the evidence relating to the effectiveness of regional anaesthesia techniques commonly used for postoperative analgesia following shoulder surgery. Subacromial/intra-articular local anaesthetic infiltration appears to perform only marginally better than placebo, and because the technique has been associated with catastrophic chondrolysis, it can no longer be recommended. All single injection nerve blocks are limited by a short effective duration. Suprascapular nerve block reduces postoperative pain and opioid consumption following arthroscopic surgery, but provides inferior analgesia compared with single injection interscalene block. Continuous interscalene block incorporating a basal local anaesthetic infusion and patient controlled boluses is the most effective analgesic technique following both major and minor shoulder surgery. However, interscalene nerve block is an invasive procedure with potentially serious complications and should therefore only be performed by practitioners with appropriate experience.Anaesthesia 06/2010; 65(6):608-24. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2044.2009.06231.x · 3.85 Impact Factor