Scalene Muscle Injections for Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Case Series
Article first published online: 2 JUN 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Pain Practice © 2011 World Institute of Pain
Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 66–70, January 2012
How to Cite
Benzon, H. T., Rodes, M. E., Chekka, K., Malik, K. and Pearce, W. H. (2012), Scalene Muscle Injections for Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Case Series. Pain Practice, 12: 66–70. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2011.00468.x
- Issue published online: 10 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 2 JUN 2011
- Submitted: December 21, 2010; Revision accepted: March 27, 2011
- scalene muscle injections;
- thoracic outlet syndrome
Abstract: Scalene muscle injections are used to confirm the diagnosis of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome and predict the response of patients to surgery. We performed a retrospective study to determine if relief of pain was related to brachial plexus blockade in these patients.
Methods: We reviewed the charts of 12 patients who had anterior and middle scalene muscle injections, for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, between April 2009 and September 2010. The injections were performed under ultrasound guidance wherein 2 to 5 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine was injected into the belly of the anterior and scalene muscles. The following were noted: (1) sites of preprocedure pain; (2) volume injected into each of the anterior and middle scalene muscles; (3) presence of numbness after injection; and (4) presence and duration of pain relief.
Results: All 12 patients had relief of their pain. Six of the twelve patients developed numbness, which ranged from blockade of the C4-5, C6-7, and C4-T1 dermatomes. In the patients who developed numbness, there was no relationship between the duration of numbness and the duration of pain relief or the location of numbness and the location of pain relief.
Conclusions: The relief from scalene muscle injections in patients with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome is not related to blockade of the brachial plexus. ▪