Objectives: Shoulder pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal pain syndromes. Interventional treatments can be applied to patients who do not respond to conservative therapies. Intra-articular steroid injection and suprascapular nerve block are both short-acting and may sometimes be clinically inadequate. In this study, the answer to the question of whether pulse radiofrequency application to the suprascapular nerve provides additional benefit was investigated.
Methods: Patients who had shoulder pain and were injected between October 2016 and April 2018 were evaluated retrospectively. Totally 160 patients who underwent shoulder injections were included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups: 114 patients who underwent shoulder intra-articular steroid injection and suprascapular nerve block, as Group 1 and 46 patients who underwent pulse radiofrequency to the suprascapular nerve, in addition to shoulder intra-articular steroid injection and suprascapular nerve block, as Group 2.
Results: There was no statistical difference between the groups in pre-intervention numerical rating scale (NRS) scores. One month after the intervention, NRS scores of Group 2 were significantly lower than Group 1. In both groups, 1 month after the intervention NRS scores were significantly lower than pre-intervention. The duration of pain relief for Group 2 was longer than Group 1. The satisfaction percentages of patients for Group 2 were higher than Group 1.
Conclusion: In addition to glenohumeral intra-articular steroid injection and suprascapular nerve block, pulse radiofrequency application to the suprascapular nerve provides additional benefits in terms of NRS scores, duration of pain relief, and patient satisfaction.