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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

Print version ISSN 1134-8046


ABEJON, D. et al. Tricompartmental blockade of painful shoulder: A preliminary study. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2009, vol.16, n.7, pp.399-404. ISSN 1134-8046.

Introduction: Painful shoulder is one of the most common reasons for consulting in primary care and affects between 7% and 34% of the general adult population. The most frequent etiology is rotator cuff dysfunction, accounting for over 70% of cases, including tendinitis, bursitis and rupture of the rotator cuff or any of its components. Various treatments have been proposed for painful shoulder. The aim of this study was to present a new technique for patients refractory to conventional treatments. Material and methods: We analyzed the efficacy of the technique using a visual analog scale (VAS), administered to patients at baseline and 1 month later. In the same period, we evaluated patient satisfaction and the percentage of improvement. Finally, we analyzed complications, if any, and the patients were asked if they would repeat the process or not. Results: The technique was performed in 12 patients. The mean baseline VAS was 8.5 ± 1, which decreased to 5.5 ± 3 after the procedure. In patients who benefitted from the procedure, the decrease in VAS score was close to 5 points with respect to baseline. The technique seemed to be more effective in patients with arthrosis than in those mainly with soft tissue involvement. The mean improvement in the entire sample was 45.83 ± 42.05. Seven patients reported they would repeat the technique compared with five who reported they would not. No complications resulted from the procedure. Conclusions: Tricompartmental blockade of the shoulder seems to be a promising technique in the treatment of shoulder pain, especially when the underlying disease is degenerative.

Keywords : Painful shoulder; Tricompartmental blockade; Bursitis; Rotator cuff.

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