0
Scientific Articles   |    
Does Subacromial Injection of a Local Anesthetic Influence Strength in Healthy Shoulders?A Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study
Mazda Farshad, MD, MPH1; Michèle Jundt-Ecker, MD1; Reto Sutter, MD1; Martin Schubert, MD1; Christian Gerber, MD, FRCSEd(Hon)1
1 Departments of Orthopedic Surgery (M.F., M.J.-E., C.G.), Radiology (R.S.), and Paraplegiology (M.S.), Balgrist University Hospital, Forchstrasse 340, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland. E-mail address for M. Farshad: mazda.farshad@balgrist.ch
View Disclosures and Other Information
  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Investigation performed at Balgrist University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland



Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2012 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012 Oct 03;94(19):1751-1755. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.K.00855
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case

Abstract

Background: 

Subacromial injection of a local anesthetic is used to eliminate pain as a confounding factor in clinical assessment of abduction strength in shoulders with a suspected rotator cuff tear. If strength remains diminished despite pain relief, a rotator cuff tear is likely. The effect of injecting local anesthetic into the subacromial space on the strength of a normal shoulder is unknown, although it could affect strength by impairing suprascapular or axillary nerve function. We hypothesized that subacromial injection of a local anesthetic could decrease shoulder abduction and/or external rotation strength, resulting in physical examination findings that could mislead the clinician.

Methods: 

A double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled design was used to evaluate the effect of subacromial injection of lidocaine on shoulder strength in ten healthy male volunteers. The contralateral shoulder served as the placebo control for each treated shoulder. Abduction and external rotation strength measurements and electromyographic assessment were performed before and after the subacromial injection. Ultrasonography was used to verify the integrity of the rotator cuff and to document the distribution pattern of the injected local anesthetic.

Results: 

The injection was subacromial in eighteen (90%) of twenty shoulders. There was no significant difference in pain or electromyographic parameters between shoulders injected with lidocaine and those injected with 0.9% saline solution (p > 0.05). In the Whipple position, placebo injection into the subacromial space decreased strength significantly compared with the pre-injection state (95 ± 17 to 84 ± 20 N, p = 0.012), whereas a similar decrease observed in the lidocaine group did not reach significance (97 ± 15 to 87 ± 14 N, p = 0.092). In 90° of abduction in the scapular plane (supraspinatus test position), there was no significant decrease in strength in either group.

Conclusions: 

Subacromial injection reached the subacromial bursa in most cases (90%) without radiographic guidance. The injection of a local anesthetic into the subacromial bursa had no relevant effect on shoulder strength and did not falsify the clinical assessment of strength.

Level of Evidence: 

Diagnostic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

     
    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org

    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe





    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    04/02/2014
    LA - Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport
    06/29/2012
    PA - Thomas Jefferson University
    12/04/2013
    NY - Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    12/31/2013
    SC - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Medical Univerity of South Carlonina