Last updated on February 2018

The Effect of 3 Ropivacaine Suprascapular Nerve Blocks in Subacute Adhesive Capsulitis: a Randomized Controlled Trial


Brief description of study

Patients presenting with subacute, less than 6 months of evolution, adhesive capsulitis are randomly attributed to the control or study group. Both groups receive a series of 3 suprascapular nerve blocks under ultrasound guidance with either 5ml saline or 5ml ropivacaine 2mg/ml ( ref) at 1 week interval. Testing consists of glenohumeral range of motion (ROM) (anterior elevation, lateral elevation, external and internal rotation) measured by goniometer, Constant score and visual analog scale (VAS) pain score. Evaluations are done immediately before and one hour after every suprascapular block and at 4 weeks after the third suprascapular block.

All suprascapular nerve blocks are performed by one physician and the evaluations are done by a occupational therapist or MD experienced in glenohumeral function evaluations. All practitioners are blinded to the assigned group.

All patients continue their pre-study treatment of physiotherapy and per os pain medication. Patients keep a record of analgesics and NSAID use during the trial. Drop-out rate is measured.

Detailed Study Description

Introduction: Adhesive capsulitis is a painful and debilitating condition affecting adult shoulders. Although relatively rare the condition is more common in diabetic patients and effective pain diminishing treatments without the use of corticosteroids are needed.

Methods and Material: Patients presenting with subacute, less than 6 months of evolution, adhesive capsulitis are randomly attributed to the control or study group. Both groups receive a series of 3 successive suprascapular nerve blocks under live ultrasound guidance with either 5ml saline or 5ml ropivacaine 2mg/ml conducted at 1 week interval. Testing consists of glenohumeral ROM (anterior elevation, lateral elevation, external and internal rotation) measured by goniometer, Constant score, VAS pain score. Evaluations are done immediately before and one hour after every "suprascapular block" and at 4 weeks after the third suprascapular block.

All suprascapular blocks are performed by one physician and the evaluations by either a occupational therapist or MD experienced in glenohumeral function evaluations. All practitioners are blinded to the assigned group.

All patients continue their physiotherapy, consisting of electrotherapy, range of motion, stretching and strengthening exercises and their per os medication. Patients keep record of analgesics and NSAID use during the trial. Drop-out rate is measured during the entire study protocol.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02944526

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Recruitment Status: Open


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