Effects of C8 nerve root block during interscalene brachial plexus block on anesthesia of the posterior shoulder in patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery: study protocol for a prospective randomized parallel-group controlled trial.Trials. 2019 Aug 28; 20(1):533.T
A classical approach to produce interscalene brachial plexus block (ISBPB) consistently spares the posterior aspect of the shoulder and ulnar sides of the elbow, forearm, and hand, which are innervated by the lower trunk of the brachial plexus (C8-T1). As an alternative to the classical approach, a caudal approach to ISBPB successfully produces anesthesia of the ulnar sides of the elbow, forearm, and hand. However, its beneficial effects on anesthesia in the posterior aspect of the shoulder have not been investigated. In addition, the C8 nerve root is not routinely selectively blocked during ISBPB. Therefore, we will compare the C5 to C7 and C5 to C8 nerve root blocks during a caudal approach to ISBPB to assess the clinical benefit of C8 nerve blocks for the surgical anesthesia of the posterior aspect of the shoulder.
In this prospective parallel-group single-blind randomized controlled trial, 74 patients scheduled to undergo arthroscopic shoulder surgery under ISBPB are randomly allocated to receive the C5 to C7 or C5 to C8 nerve root block at a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome is pain intensity, which is rated as 0 (no pain), 1 (mild pain), or 2 (severe pain), during the introduction of a posterior portal into the glenohumeral joint. The secondary outcomes are (1) the extent of the ipsilateral sensory, motor, hemidiaphragmatic, and stellate ganglion blockade, (2) changes in the results of a pulmonary function test, (3) incidence of complications related to ISBPB, (4) postoperative numerical pain rating scale scores, (5) patients' satisfaction with the ISBPB, (6) dose and frequency of analgesic use, and (7) incidence of conversion to general anesthesia.
This study is the first to evaluate the beneficial effects of the C8 nerve root block during ISBPB, which has rarely been performed due to the technical challenge in visualizing and blocking the C8 nerve root. It is expected that a C8 nerve root block performed during ISBPB will provide sufficient surgical anesthesia of the posterior aspect of the shoulder, which cannot be achieved by a classical approach to ISBPB.
ClicnicalTrials.gov, NCT03487874 . Registered on 4 April 2018.