Please note: Currently due to the coronavirus pandemic and in line with government advice we are offering primarily remote video new and return appointments through Ross Hall. We are regularly reviewing this advice.



Background information

The aim of injections around the shoulder are to reduce inflammation. Steroid (which is a powerful anti-inflammatory) is injected in combination with local anaesthetic directly to the site of inflammation. The length of response of the injection can vary from no response to lasting for many months.

Common sites for injection

Site of injection Indication
acromioclavicular joint arthritis
subacromial bursa impingement, calcific tendinitis
gleno-humeral joint arthritis, frozen shoulder

What to expect?

The local anaesthetic usually wears off after 4-6 hours and some simple painkillers maybe required at that stage.At about 24-48 hrs after the injection you may notice an increase in pain known as 'a steroid flare'. This subsides after about 48-72 hours, painkillers and ice packs may be needed. If it persists beyond this please contact your GP.

What are the risks?

Generally these are very low risk with approximately 1 in 10,000 risk of infection. If you develop a hot red shoulder and temperature that persists greater than 48 hours please consult your doctor.

If you are diabetic then you need to monitor blood glucose levels closely as they can be raised after injection.

What can I do afterwards?

In the first 24 hours we would suggest rest with gentle movement. We would suggest pendular and active assist movements. In the first week it is important to avoid movements that are known to aggravate the shoulder and to avoid vigorous exercise.

If you are receiving physiotherapy then it is useful to be seen within a week after the injection. Usually a review with your surgeon will be organised for about 6 weeks after the injection.

please watch the animation on subacromial injection


Andrew Brooksbank