Glenohumeral Joint Injection

  • Purpose To treat pain and inflammation in the shoulder, in particular, symptoms of “frozen shoulder” and arthritis. “Frozen shoulder” is characterized as a limited range of motion and aching pain.
  • Procedure Overview – Injections deliver anesthetic and anti-inflammatory solution (steroid like cortisone) directly to the joint. This procedure may, or may not be done with image guidance.
  • Before the procedure – The anti-inflammatory solution may increase your blood sugars.  If you have a history of issues with elevated blood sugars then you should discuss this with your primary care doctor, or endocrinologist.
  • Details – The procedure begins with the sterilization of the skin where the injection will take place. Once the accurate location of the injection is determined, the anesthetic and anti-inflammatory solutions are injected directly into the glenohumeral space.  The glenohumeral joint is the main shoulder joint.
  • After the procedure – There may be numbness at the injection site. It may take 2-3 hours for the pain to subside. Redness and a feeling of warmth may be experienced. Apply ice as needed to relieve any pain from the injection and protect the injection area for a couple of days by avoiding strenuous activity. It is important to be aware of heightened pain, redness and swelling that lasts more than two days.
  • Potential complications – Osteonecrosis (death of nearby bone), infection, nerve damage, thinning of skin and tissue surrounding the injection site, pain and inflammation of the joint, tendon weakening or rupture, osteoporosis (nearby bone thinning), and skin discoloration around the injection site. Due to potential complications, physicians will limit the number of injections given to a patient based on the joint and the reason for treatment.