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Pain Treatments

Rotator Cuff Injection

Rotator Cuff Injection

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor). Excessive stress and strain of these muscles can contribute to the inflammation process and associated pain.  Often times, the best solution is to inject medication directly into the rotator cuff muscle and/or tendon to alleviate the discomfort.

The doctor will numb your shoulder with medication near the upper outer shoulder. Then, guided by an x-ray or ultrasound, he will:

  • Insert a thin needle into your shoulder and look at the placement under x-ray
  • Inject an anesthetic (for short term pain relief) and steroid or platelet rich plasma (for longer term relief)

The medicines then spread inside the bursa, thereby hopefully reducing inflammation and pain. Usually, the procedure takes less than 15 minutes and you can go home the same day.

Some patients report pain relief within the first few hours after the injection, but pain may return later that day as the local anesthetic wears off. Longer-term relief usually begins in 48-72 hours, once the steroid begins to work or 6-8 weeks if platelet rich plasma is used.

How long the pain relief lasts varies person to person. For some, the relief lasts several months or longer. If the treatment works for you, you can have periodic injections to stay pain-free.

Do not do any rigorous activity for the first day after your injection. Take it easy. You can return to your normal activities the next day. Do not drive the day of the injection if you have had any form of anesthesia.

You can continue your regular diet and medications immediately.

In some cases, it may take up to a week for the steroid to begin working. If you don’t feel better within the first two weeks, see your doctor to discuss different treatment options. If platelet rich plasma is used, please allow for 6-8 weeks to see if the injection works.

Not sure what treatment options are best for you?  Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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