Ultrasound-guided pulsed radiofrequency for chronic shoulder pain - prospective study
Rita Diogo Torgal Pinto, Joana Manuela Tenreiro Pinto, Maria Céu Loureiro, Cristina Cardoso, José Pedro Assunção
Background and objectives
: Chronic shoulder pain is a frequent cause of suffering and impaired quality of life. Treatment includes non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies, and interventional procedures such as suprascapular nerve blocks and radiofrequency. This prospective study aims to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasound-guided pulsed radiofrequency of suprascapular nerve for chronic shoulder pain in a clinical setting.
Therapeutic efficacy was evaluated through pain intensity using numeric pain rating scale at baseline, immediately, 3 and 6 months after, and patient’s motor function improvement. The secondary outcome was patient satisfaction.
A total of 34 patients were enrolled and all patients presented a reduction in the numeric pain rating scale immediately after treatment. Pain reduction from baseline to 6 months after the procedure was 34.4% and 36.9% static and dynamic, respectively. The median percentage reduction was statistically significant immediately, 3 and 6 months after. There was also an improvement in range of motion, 39.6% in abduction, 24.1% in flexion, and 29.5% in extension. Ninety percent of patients reported patient’s global impression of change superior to six.
This study concludes that ultrasound-guided pulsed radiofrequency of suprascapular nerve reduces pain intensity for at least 6 months, accompanied by improvement of motor function and higher levels of patients’ satisfaction. Therefore, this technique represents a valid analgesic approach to chronic shoulder pain.