Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine| Volume 63, ISSUE 1, P83-87, July 2022

Ultrasound-Guided Retroclavicular Approach to the Infraclavicular Region (RAPTIR) Brachial Plexus Block for Anterior Shoulder Reduction



      Shoulder dislocations are a common presenting injury to the emergency department (ED), with anterior dislocations comprising the majority of these cases. Some patients may tolerate gentle manipulation and reduction, but many require analgesia of some type. Oral or parenteral pain medication is often used alone or in combination with procedural sedation if gentle manipulation fails to achieve reduction. Recently, this treatment algorithm has grown to include regional anesthesia as a mode of analgesia for reduction of shoulder dislocations in the form of brachial plexus blocks. It has been well described that the interscalene and supraclavicular approach to the brachial plexus can be used to assist in reduction of anterior shoulder dislocations; however, there has yet to be any published literature regarding the use of ultrasound-guided retroclavicular approach to the infraclavicular region (RAPTIR) brachial plexus blocks for shoulder reduction.Case Report: We describe three patients who presented to the ED with anterior shoulder dislocations. The RAPTIR block was performed, provided effective analgesia, and facilitated successful shoulder reduction in all three patients.Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This? The RAPTIR nerve block is a safe and effective option for analgesia in the patient with an anterior shoulder dislocation. It may have advantages over other brachial nerve blocks and avoids the risks and disadvantages of procedural sedation and opioids.


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