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Do you suffer from shoulder pain that has failed to improve with time and/or conservative therapy? If so you may be a candidate for this quick and simple treatment option.

AC Joint Injection Q&A

What is an AC Joint Injection?

An AC joint injection is the injection of a powerful anti-inflammatory medication into the AC joint, located in the front portion of the shoulder. This medication can decrease inflammation in the AC joint significantly reducing pain.

What are the Benefits?

These injections will help you experience pain relief to increase mobility or movement in the joint.

How Does it Work?

The procedure is minimally invasive and uncomplicated. Before the actual injection, the doctor will inject a local anesthetic in the treatment area to numb the skin. The doctor will then inject the steroid, typically using ultrasound or other guided X-ray for proper placement.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Typically, the pain relief experienced from this procedure lasts 3-6 months, and some patients have reported that one injection has taken care of the pain and swelling. Results vary by patient. Generally, we limit the number of injections.

When Will I Feel Better?

It will take 1-2 days after the injection to feel better. Immediately following the procedure you will likely feel quite comfortable because the area will be numb from the first injection of the local anesthetic.

Generally the effects of the anesthetic will wear off about two hours following the procedure. At this time it’s normal to experience increased pain that may initially be worse than the pain experienced before the injection. This type of discomfort is called a post-injection flare and is the result of injecting a steroid directly into the joint. The pain will subside in a day or two, and it’s recommended to treat the area with ice and over-the-counter analgesics during this time period. Thereafter, the steroid effect continues to get stronger and stronger such that the peak effect occurs at about two weeks.

Is an AC Joint Injection Right for Me?

If you have not experienced sufficient pain relief with treatments such as acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce the inflammation, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, an injection into the joint can sometimes be helpful for pain relief and to increase mobility or movement in the joint. We will schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Physicians, to see if this treatment is a good fit for you.