What are the possible complications of shoulder arthrocentesis?

Updated: Dec 10, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Complications are uncommon and often insignificant but include the following:

  • Hematoma and intravascular injection are possible because of the close proximity of the axillary vessels
  • Iatrogenic infection is possible; the risk of inducing joint infection is low when sterile technique is used
  • Injection of corticosteroids directly into a tendon or tendon insertion can sometimes result in tendon rupture
  • Corticosteroids may cause a transient rise in blood glucose levels in patients with  diabetes mellitus
  • Vasovagal syncope

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