07 Jun Important Things to Know About Shoulder Joint Injections
As specialists in treating neck and shoulder pain, Lone Star doctors see a number of conditions for which shoulder joint injections are appropriate. We are careful to discuss these injections with patients before recommending them. Know that they are safe and, for many patients, quite effective.
We encourage you to make an appointment at our Weatherford, Texas clinic if you suffer from chronic shoulder pain. One of our doctors will be more than happy to discuss treatment options with you. In terms of shoulder joint injections, there are some things you will need to know before deciding whether or not they are right for you. The following paragraphs offer a brief introduction.
What It Involves
The primary goal of shoulder joint injections is relieving pain. This is accomplished in one of two ways: reducing inflammation and anesthetizing the targeted area. Often times, shoulder joint injections involve both. By treating information and pain, we increase mobility. Meanwhile, we look for the body to heal itself where applicable.
Corticosteroids and anesthesia are the drugs of choice for shoulder joint injections. Anesthetic drugs immediately relieve pain while corticosteroids reduce inflammation. The thing to understand is that the steroids can take some time to work. Over the long term, they can control inflammation quite effectively.
Conditions Treatable with Injections
A discussion with a Lone Star pain specialist will reveal that not all conditions causing shoulder pain can be treated with injections. The good news, though, is that many can. Here are just a few examples:
- Rotator Cuff Tears – A tear in the tendons of the shoulder joint can be effectively treated with injections. In all but the most serious cases, the body will naturally heal a torn rotator cuff.
- Rotator Cuff Impingement – Another type of rotator cuff injury, an impingement of the muscles in the shoulder, is a good candidate for this treatment.
- Bursitis – When bursitis affects the bursa in the shoulder joint, we call this a subacromial bursitis. Shoulder joint injections are fairly routine for this condition.
- Tendinopathy – Tendons in the shoulder can become swollen due to injury or overuse. Shoulder joint injections are good way to address this condition.
Note that diagnostic imaging is sometimes required to determine exactly what is going on. Imaging may reveal a condition for which shoulder joint injections is completely appropriate. On the other hand, it might also reveal a more serious problem requiring surgery or some other treatment.
How the Treatment Is Performed
Like almost all injection treatments, shoulder joint injections are an outpatient procedure that we conduct right here in our clinic. The injections do not take long. In nearly every case, patients return home shortly after the procedure is completed.
After an exam and diagnosis, the doctor will explain exactly what the treatment entails. If the patient agrees, the procedure begins with a topical anesthetic that numbs the surface of the skin and the tissue directly underneath. A needle is inserted through the skin and located at the right position for the condition being treated.
In some cases, doctors prefer to use imaging techniques to make sure the needle is properly positioned. Once positioned, medicine is injected. It bathes the affected area in steroids and anesthetic. The needle is then removed, and the injection site bandaged.
Patient and doctor work together to determine if additional injections are required. As for side effects, they are few and generally limited to minor pain and swelling at the injection site. Really, there is nothing to it. If you would like to know more, let’s sit down and discuss what you’re thinking.