What is shoulder arthrocentesis?

Updated: Dec 10, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Shoulder arthrocentesis can be performed either diagnostically (to identify the etiology of acute arthritis) or therapeutically (to drain an effusion). With the same technique, the joint can be injected therapeutically with corticosteroids, anesthetics, or both.

Aspiration of the glenohumeral joint can be accomplished via either an anterior or a posterior approach. The posterior approach allows the patient to be blinded from the procedure, and it mimics the approach used in arthroscopy of the joint.

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