The pain in my shoulder had been increasing for months before I finally saw my GP. I kept thinking it would go away by itself, but my shoulder got stiffer and stiffer and more and more painful. Eventually I found myself unable to brush my hair or scratch my own back. My shoulder felt weak and I could not lift my arm fully above my head.
The GP thought it might be a frozen shoulder and referred me for an ultrasound test. She explained that as well as diagnosing the problem, the ultrasound might be used to guide an injection of pain-relieving steroids into my shoulder joint. Normal painkillers were not making any difference to the pain so the idea of a more effective form of pain relief was appealing.
On the day of the injection
On the day of the appointment, I was able to eat and drink as normal. A friend drove me to the hospital as my appointment letter told me I should not drive after the procedure, because the injection contains anaesthetic.
In the ultrasound room I was asked to sit in a chair rather than lie down. The radiologist put gel onto my shoulder and then moved the ultrasound probe all around my joint. I could see grainy black and white images on the monitor in front of me. She asked me to move my arm at various points and I could see the muscles moving.
She pointed out a thin black area in the joint and told me that in a healthy joint it wouldn’t be there. She told me I have bursitis, which is inflammation of the bursa, which cushions the joint and stops the bones rubbing together. She said it is a very painful condition (absolutely!) and that a steroid injection might provide some relief. However, she told me the relief wouldn’t be immediate and might take a month or so to take effect.
The procedure itself was quick. After cleaning the area to be injected, a healthcare assistant stood in front of me and sprayed some kind of freezing liquid onto the area as the radiologist, who was standing behind me, administered the injection.
It wasn’t pain-free but it was a level of discomfort that was tolerable and it was very quick. It felt like a sharp scratch initially, followed by a pushing sensation as the needle went into my joint. I could see on the monitor where the needle was going, which felt a bit strange but also fascinating.
The whole thing, from going into the room to leaving, took around 25 minutes. Immediately afterwards I was able to stand up and use my arm as normal. I was a bit careful with it for the rest of the day but the radiologist told me it was to move my shoulder as it would help the steroids to spread throughout the joint. There was a little bit of discomfort in my joint as the anaesthetic wore off, but my shoulder felt surprisingly OK.
It is now two weeks since I had the procedure and although the pain hasn’t gone it has reduced. I have more movement in my shoulder. I can brush my hair now but won’t be swinging from a tree any time soon. Maybe that will come in a month or two!
Therapeutic Injections for a frozen shoulder
Here at W27 Diagnostics & Imaging, we frequently offer therapeutic injections to help relieve pain. Sometimes we use ultrasound and sometimes X-ray to guide the injection.
- Hydrodilation for frozen shoulder
- Ultrasound-guided injections to relieve pain
- Platelet-rich plasma injections
You can also watch one of our educational videos discussing specific treatments and what you can expect.
THERAPEUTIC INJECTIONS | MANCHESTER, WIGAN, CHESHIRE + MORE
W27 provides fast, accurate diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal symptoms and conditions using the latest state-of-the-art imaging facilities. We also offer therapeutic injections to help relieve joint pain.
For your appointment there is a choice of locations:
The John Charnley Wing, Wrightington Hospital – Hall Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9EP
HCA Manchester Institute of Health & Performance – 299 Alan Turing Way, Manchester, M11 3BS
Euxton Hall Hospital – Wigan Road, Euxton, Chorley, PR7 6DY
The Spire Manchester – 170 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2AF
European Scanning Centre – 10-11 Bulstrode Place, London W1U 2HX
The OrthTeam Centre Ohm Building – 168 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M20 2AF
Information about our Fees can be found here.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options with a specialist, please contact the team to book an initial consultation.