What is the anterior approach of shoulder arthrocentesis?

Updated: Dec 10, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Palpate the coracoid process and the humeral head. As the arm is internally rotated, the joint space can be felt as a groove lateral to the coracoid process (see the image below). [12]

Circle represents coracoid process. Circle represents coracoid process.

Insert the needle medial to the head of the humerus and just below the tip of the coracoid process (see the image below).

Shoulder arthrocentesis. Insert needle medial to h Shoulder arthrocentesis. Insert needle medial to head of humerus and just below tip of coracoid process.

Direct the needle slightly laterally and superiorly into the scapulohumeral joint space (see the image below). [13]

Shoulder arthrocentesis. Direct needle slightly la Shoulder arthrocentesis. Direct needle slightly laterally and superiorly.

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