Ultrasound-Guided Injection for Shoulder Pain


This non-operative, outpatient procedure is designed to provide relief for patients with arthritis of the shoulder. The technique allows the physician to inject the pain relieving drugs of local anesthesia, anti-inflammatory steroid and /or other medications with maximum accuracy. The ultra sound probe is used to visualize the proper depth and placement of the needle to help overcome the ‘up to 70% miss’ rate seen in non- ultra sound guided injections of the area.


Indications for this procedure are the same conditions that cause pain of the shoulder area. These can include frozen shoulder syndrome, rotator cuff injury, trauma, degeneration of the shoulder, arthritis, AC joint injury, biceps tendon injury, or other tendonitis or injury of the shoulder’s complex bone, joints or tendons that enable a rotational movement. It is one of the most complex areas of the body.

What to Expect

The procedure is done as an outpatient, usually as an office procedure. Once access to the affected shoulder is obtained, the skin is numbed and a small needle is guided into the area of concern after identification with the ultra sound probe. A small amount of local anesthesia or normal saline is injected to ensure proper needle placement and the injection of the solution of steroids, local anesthesia and/or other medications is under taken. A band aid is applied and rotation of the area as tolerated is encouraged to facilitate medication distribution.


Many patients experience good to moderate relief at the time of injection. Most will need several days to realize the effects of the injection and the steroid effect noted after the local anesthesia wears off. Physical therapy, home exercise and increased functionality and activity are encouraged as the injections’