Suprascapular nerve block (SSNB) can be used as an adjunct to
arthroscopic shoulder surgery and total shoulder arthroplasty. When combined
with general anesthesia for shoulder arthroscopy, SSNB improves analgesia,
reduces opioid-related side effects, and hastens hospital
discharge,2 although SSNB is not superior to interscalene
block in this setting.3 For anterior open shoulder
surgery, supplemental SSNB does not affect outcome when combined with
interscalene block.4 Because it provides major sensory
innervation to the shoulder joint, it can be used to block supplementally
the suprascapular nerve for analgesia after total shoulder arthroplasty.
Furthermore, because it may send branches to the anterior axilla, the
suprascapular nerve may require supplementation to anesthetize the anterior
arthroscopic port site in awake patients who receive an interscalene
block as the sole anesthetic for surgery.