Interscalene anesthesia for shoulder arthroscopy in a community-sized military hospital.
The first 100 consecutive shoulder arthroscopic procedures performed under interscalene anesthesia at a small community-sized military hospital are the basis of this report. This method of anesthesia was compared with 100 shoulder arthroscopies performed in a previous 2-year time period under general anesthesia. A variety of arthroscopic and subsequent open reconstructive procedures about the shoulder were performed using both techniques. Using the interscalene method, 87 regional blocks were entirely successful. Thirteen patients required conversion to general anesthesia for adequate pain control; however, 4 of these had a complete block in the recovery room and required no postoperative narcotics. Seven patients required supplementation with local anesthetic when an open procedure became necessary. There were no major complications. Minor complications included 5 patients with transient Horner's syndrome, 4 patients who experienced anxiety, which was controlled with sedation, and 3 with nausea or pruritus. Interscalene anesthesia provided excellent intraoperative and postoperative analgesia with low morbidity. On a subsequent questionnaire, all patients with a successful block reported that they were extremely satisfied with their experience. Ten patients who had previous shoulder surgery under general anesthesia preferred the interscalene method. In summary, interscalene anesthesia proved to be an excellent method of anesthesia for shoulder arthroscopy. The technique is reproducible within the resources available in most community-level hospitals.
Arciero, RA; Taylor, DC; Harrison, SA; Snyder, RJ; Leahy, KE; Uhorchak, JM
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