Intra-articular Shoulder Joint Injections

Overview This outpatient injection procedure relieves pain in the shoulder and arm caused by arthritis, injury or disorder. 

Preparation In preparation for the procedure, the shoulder is cleaned and sanitized. A local anesthetic is administered to numb the tissue at the injection site. The physician may choose from multiple needle approaches, depending on which part of the shoulder requires treatment. Needle Insertion The physician carefully guides a needle into the shoulder joint. The physician may guide the needle with the help of an x-ray device called a fluoroscope. If so, the physician may inject contrast dye to confirm the needle’s placement. 

Pain Relief Injection When the needle is in position, the physician injects a mixture of anesthetic and steroid medication. The medication will help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. 

End of Procedure When the injection is complete, the needle is slowly withdrawn. The injection site may be covered with a small bandage. For many patients, extended pain relief begins within two to three days of the injection. In some cases, it may be necessary to repeat the procedure one or more times to receive the full benefit of the treatment.