BACKGROUND: The standard approach for the suprascapular nerve block is deep in the supraspinous fossa. However, with this approach, the suprascapular nerve is difficult to visualize by ultrasound. The aim of this study was to describe a new method to visualize and selectively block the suprascapular nerve in a more superficial and proximal location. METHODS: Twelve healthy volunteers were included. We located the brachial plexus in transverse section with ultrasound, and by longitudinal slide, we identified the departure of the suprascapular nerve from the superior trunk. The suprascapular nerve was followed under ultrasound visualization into the subclavian triangle under the inferior belly of the omohyoid muscle. We performed in-plane ultrasound-guided selective suprascapular nerve block by injecting 1 ml of lidocaine, 20 mg/ml close to the nerve. Nerve identification was aided by nerve stimulation. We assessed sensory and motor block of the suprascapular, axillary, radial, median, and ulnar nerves before, 15 and 30 min after performing the block. RESULTS: Eight volunteers demonstrated a selective suprascapular nerve block. Three had block failure and one volunteer did not receive the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: We describe a new ultrasound-guided low-volume local anaesthetic technique to selectively block the suprascapular nerve. The potential clinical role of this new approach remains to be determined.
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 2014, Vol 58, Issue 10, p. 1228-32