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[Long-term results of suprascapular pulsed radiofrequency in chronic shoulder pain]

Kader Keskinbora, Işik Aydinli
Aǧrı: Ağrı (Algoloji) Derneği'nin Yayın Organıdır, the Journal of the Turkish Society of Algology 2009, 21 (1): 16-21
19357996

OBJECTIVES: Suprascapular nerve block has been shown to be effective in acute, postoperative and chronic shoulder pain. The understanding of providing analgesia without destruction of neural tissue makes pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) lesioning attractive as a nondestructive method. In this study, the effectiveness of suprascapular PRF in chronic shoulder pain in both the short- and long-term was assessed.

METHODS: Forty patients suffering from shoulder pain of at least two months' duration, diagnosed with rotator cuff rupture by MRI scanning and with no response to systemic or physical therapy, were enrolled. After a favorable response to a diagnostic suprascapular nerve block, PRF application was done. Pain assessment was done using a standardized 7-point Likert scale and shoulder joint function assessment by Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS). The outcome measures were assessed in the third week as short-term and in six months as long-term.

RESULTS: Thirty-two patients completed the study. Eight patients were excluded from the study because of vagotony due to sitting position (20%). In comparison with baseline, Likert score of chronic shoulder pain was good (6.73+/-0.78; 6.50+/-1.07) (for both, p=0.000) and mean OSS was 16.28+/-3.15; 13.81+/-2.23 (for both, p<0.001) in the two assessment periods.

CONCLUSION: Suprascapular nerve PRF lesioning was effective in chronic shoulder pain of rotator cuff lesion, and this effect was maintained in the long-term period. The improvement in shoulder joint function in parallel with decreased chronic shoulder pain was also notable.

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