North Hampshire Hospital
The Hampshire Clinic
Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK

Mr John Britton FRCS
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Information for patients undergoing orthopaedic treatment


Steroid Injections

Steroid injections are often recommended for a number of conditions; it is often the first line treatment for subacromial impingement and frequently helps adhesive capsulitis. They are useful in cases of early acromio-clavicular arthritis and in certain circumstances they may be used in the management of rotator cuff tears. It is a commonly held misconception that injections will afford only temporary relief of symptoms; this is incorrect and they frequently result in a long term cure of symptoms. Indeed if injection does not produce significant symptom relief over a long period it will rarely be repeated.

Injection is an outpatient procedure. There are a number of different techniques, dependent on the underlying pathology. A local anaesthetic will normally be given to ease post injection discomfort. The injection itself rarely causes significant discomfort, but increased pain my be experienced in the shoulder for up to 48 hours after injection. Simple analgesia in the form of paracetamol or ibuprofen should be all that is required to relieve symptoms.

The benefit of injection is usually apparent within a week. No particular restriction of shoulder activity is necessary, although it is sensible not to exercise excessively; this may be a temptation if the injection results in a rapid relief of symptoms.



J M Britton 2007

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