The ultrasound-guided superficial cervical plexus block for anesthesia and analgesia in emergency care settings

Am J Emerg Med. 2012 Sep;30(7):1263-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2011.06.023. Epub 2011 Oct 24.


The ultrasound-guided superficial cervical plexus (SCP) block may be useful for providers in emergency care settings who care for patients with injuries to the ear, neck, and clavicular region, including clavicle fractures and acromioclavicular dislocations. The SCP originates from the anterior rami of the C1-C4 spinal nerves and gives rise to 4 terminal branches--greater auricular, lesser occipital, transverse cervical, and suprascapular nerves--that provide sensory innervation to the skin and superficial structures of the anterolateral neck and sections of the ear and shoulder. Here we describe an ultrasound-guided technique for blockade of the SCP that is potentially well suited to emergency care settings. We present the first case description of its successful use to manage pain for a patient with an acute clavicle fracture. This case is presented to highlight one of several potential applications of this promising new technique in the emergency department.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Plexus* / anatomy & histology
  • Clavicle / injuries
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Fractures, Bone / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Shoulder Pain* / etiology
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods*
  • Young Adult