This outpatient injection procedure relieves pain in the shoulder caused by bursitis, or inflammation of the bursa. A bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between bone and muscles or tendons. Bursae are found near joints throughout the body.
The patient lies down, and the shoulder is cleaned and sterilized. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the tissue at the injection site. The physician inserts the needle and guides it into the affected bursa. A corticosteroid medication is injected into the joint to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The needle is slowly withdrawn, and the injection site may be covered with a small bandage. Extended pain relief usually begins within two to three days of the injection.