Authors: S. Joshy, A.Iossifidis

References: BESS 2005

This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of interscalene block combined with general anaesthetic for common surgical procedures of shoulder and the potential of this procedure for providing day case shoulder surgery. 114 consecutive patients undergoing shoulder surgery were audited using a questionnaire immediately after operation and at 6, 12 and 48 hours after operation. Pain scores were recorded based on visual analogue scale, type of operation, duration of operation, postoperative stay and complications. At 48 hours overall pain control was assessed and patients were asked about having their operation done as a day case. 104 patientswho responded to the questionnaire were included in the study .There were 52 males and 52 females with overall mean age of 49 years (range 18-85). 75 patients underwent arthroscopic decompression, 15 patients underwent arthroscopy assisted mini open cuff repair, 9 underwent open glenohumeral stabilisation and the rest five underwent open Mumford procedure. Mean operation time was 47 minutes (range 25-90). 97 (93%) patients had no pain immediately postoperatively, 76 (73%) patients were pain free at 6 hours and 39 (38%) were pain free at 12 hours. Mean pain scores art 6 hours was 3 and at 12 hours were 4. 101 patients said their pain was well controlled throughout the first 48 hours by simple oral analgesics. 84 (83%) patients expressed an opinion that they could have been managed as day case provided they were adequately counselled about the procedure. 6(5.7 %)patients showed signs of Horner's syndrome that resolved by 12 hours. No other complications related to inter scalene block occurred.

This study has shown that interscalene block is a safe procedure providing sustained adequate pain relief after shoulder surgery. It could allow a high percentage of patients undergoing shoulder surgery to be discharged home on the day of surgery.


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