Suprascapular Nerve Block

  • Brian Belnap
  • Gagan Mahajan


The suprascapular nerve, due to its superficial location in the supraspinous fossa, is a readily accessible nerve that is easy and safe to block. The suprascapular nerve block (SSNB) has been utilized for well over 60 years to address various causes of shoulder pain. Early advocates of the SSNB reported its usefulness in treating shoulder pain secondary to rotator cuff degenerative tears. Subsequent studies expanded its indications to include conditions such as glenohumeral degenerative joint disease, adhesive capsulitis, and postoperative shoulder pain following arthroscopic surgery. The technique of the SSNB has evolved over the years. Early reports favored blocking the suprascapular nerve at the suprascapular notch; however, more recent advocates suggest blocking the nerve at the supraspinous fossa to minimize the risk of major complications.


Shoulder Pain Adhesive Capsulitis Suprascapular Nerve Scapular Spine Scapular Fracture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© American Academy of Pain Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineUniversity of California Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.OceansideUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineUniversity of California, Davis School of MedicineSacramentoUSA

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