Diagnostic Injections About the Shoulder

Edward McFarland, MD; Johnathan Bernard, MD, MPH; Eric Dein, MD; Alex Johnson, MD


J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2017;25(12):799-807. 

In This Article


Injections are useful for diagnosis of a wide range of shoulder abnormalities and are indicated as an adjunct to the physical examination. Injection performed for diagnostic purposes about the shoulder joint depends on knowledge of possible pathologies, as well as the accuracy of the examination findings and of the injections. Therapeutic injections also depend on knowledge of the pathophysiology of the shoulder conditions to be treated and knowledge of the anatomy. In most cases, the ability to perform injections easily and accurately in the clinic offers the patient both relief and clarity about the cause of the pain. However, more studies are needed to quantify the diagnostic utility of these injections.