Suprascapular nerve block: a narrative review

Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2011 Jul-Aug;36(4):358-73. doi: 10.1097/AAP.0b013e3182204ec0.


Suprascapular nerve blockade (SSNB) is a simple and safe technique for providing relief from various types of shoulder pain, including rheumatologic disorders, cancer, and trauma pain, and postoperative pain due to shoulder arthroscopy. Posterior, superior, and anterior approaches may be used, the most common being the posterior. Recently, an ultrasound-guided approach has been described. In this review, the basic anatomy of the suprascapular nerve will be described. The different techniques of SSNB and indications for SSNB will be discussed. The complications of SSNB and outcomes of SSNB on the management of acute and chronic shoulder pain will be reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Humans
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Shoulder Joint / anatomy & histology
  • Shoulder Joint / innervation*
  • Shoulder Pain / drug therapy*
  • Shoulder Pain / pathology


  • Anesthetics, Local