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Korean Journal of Anesthesiology 2007;53(6):733-739.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4097/kjae.2007.53.6.733   
The Use of a Continuous Interscalene Brachial Plexus Block for Pain Control following Shoulder Surgery.
Sae Cheol Oh, Hyun Sook Cho, Jong Hun Ji, Chul Hun Song, Kyu Don Chung
1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. nmoney@korea.com
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Pain following shoulder surgery is usually severe and difficult to control using conventional postoperative pain control maneuvers. Therefore, we investigated the pain control efficacy, PONV (postoperative nausea vomiting) and complications by the use of a continuous brachial plexus block in patients who had undergone shoulder surgery.
Thirty three shoulder surgery patients were enrolled in this study. According to the Borgeat's modified lateral technique, 30 ml of 0.37% ropivacaine were injected into the patients, which was followed by insertion of a continuous brachial plexus catheter into the plexus sheath. The operation was then conducted under general anesthesia, and postoperative pain was evaluated in the recovery room 12, 24, 36, and 48 hr after surgery. In addition, nausea and vomiting was calculated using the visual analogue scale (VAS) and sedation was evaluated using the modified Ramsay score. A total of 400 ml of 0.2% Ropivacaine was administered at a rate of 8 ml/hr to control the postoperative pain for 2 days. In addition, other neurological complications were investigated, and the catheter tips were cultured after they were removed to determine if any infection had occurred.
The postoperative pain scores were below 2 on the 10 cm VAS, and the level of nausea and vomiting was also satisfactorily (< 2/10 cm VAS). In addition, the mean sedation score of the patients in the recovery room was 2. There were complications including motor weakness (24%), dyspnea (15%), Hornor's syndrome (9%), postauricular numbness (9%) and metallic taste (3%), however, there were no patients who complained of neurological symptoms after one month of follow-up, and no signs of infection were found when the results of catheter tip cultures were evaluated.
The use of a continuous interscalene brachial plexus block is a feasible method of postoperative pain control for patients who undergo major shoulder surgery.
Key Words: brachial plexus; nerve block; postoperative pain; shoulder surgery


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