Subacromial Bursa Injection

  • Purpose – To improve shoulder pain, range of motion and strength by reducing inflammation adjacent to the rotator cuff.
  • Overview – The injection delivers anesthetic and anti-inflammatory (cortizone) solution directly to the subacromial bursa, a small fluid-filled sac in the shoulder. The injection improves pain and inflammation from mechanical stress due to athletic overuse, overhead work, repetitive injury, or shoulder trauma, as well as improves symptoms linked to impingement syndrome, such as weakness and stiffness. The injection also assists with conditions like rotator cuff impingement, calcific tendonitis, and subacromial bursitis.
  • 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 patient being connected to monitoring devices for safety and comfort purposes. Then, the injection site is numbed. Following the numbing solution, radiopaque dye is used as a contrast solution under x-ray guidance to confirm the correct needle position. Once the accurate location is determined, the anesthetic and anti-inflammatory is laterally injected into the synovial fluid-filled sac, or adjacently into the joint space.
  • After the procedure – The patient may experience numbness where the injection took place. It may take two to three hours before there is relief from the injection. Possible side effects from the injection include: infection, neurovascular injury, thinning of articular cartilage, or rupture of soft tissue structures, including tendons. Since symptoms may worsen, pain can be treated with ice and NSAIDS.