Intracapsular (Glenoid) Injection


Intracapsular glenoid injection is a procedure in which anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid medication is injected as a mixture between the glenoid and the head of the humerus. This is done for shoulder pain and discomfort that has not responded to conservative management. Frozen shoulder is a common complaint that can respond to this injection. The injection is done with ultra sound guidance to insure proper placement of the needle.


Several painful conditions may be treated with this procedure, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in the shoulder joint. Adhesive capsulitis, commonly known as “Frozen Shoulder,” may also benefit from intracapsular glenoid injections. Often this this treatment is used if other more conservative methods, like physical therapy, have already been attempted. However, injections may also be used in conjunction with other conservative treatments in order to help with physical therapy and range of motion exercised. The effects of the injection may wear off and need to be repeated.

What to Expect

The procedure is easy and with ultra sound guidance the patient can be assured that the successful placement of the needle is greatest vs other so called ‘blind’ injections. The skin is prepped and the area numbed. A small needle is used to enter the capsule of the joint under direct vision with the ultra sound guidance procedure. Once placed the injection of the solution of steroid and/or local anesthesia is done. A small band aid is placed. Many patients can get quick onset of relief and some may then go to physical therapy with the shoulder pain relief in place.


The prevention of the frozen shoulder syndrome is the ultimate outcome for this procedure. If a patent develops a frozen shoulder they may lose the ability for proper function of the affected sides hand and arm. Pain control and restoration of shoulder function is the intended outcome. The pain control is achieved and used as an adjunctive therapy with physical therapy, topical creams or applications, and home exercises. The effects of the injection may wear off and the injection may need to be repeated