Dr. Carlos Rebollón
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Infiltration techniques are currently widely accepted in Panama, effectively addressing common shoulder pathologies such as shoulder bursitis, tendinitis, acromioclavicular arthritis, and certain conditions of the rotator cuff and biceps.
One of the major advantages of shoulder infiltration is that it is a straightforward primary care pain treatment, allowing the patient to return to their daily life almost immediately after leaving the doctor’s office. However, the patient must follow the doctor’s recommendations during the suggested time to ensure the shoulder’s proper functionality.
What is Shoulder Infiltration and What Is It For?
It is a minimally invasive method in which the doctor injects a special substance intradermally, such as corticosteroids, anesthesia, hyaluronic acid, collagen, platelet-rich plasma (to name a few examples), into the joint or soft tissues, muscles, or tendons that are causing shoulder pain.
This type of rehabilitative treatment is recommended for patients suffering from acute inflammatory processes in this joint, as in cases of arthritis, osteoarthritis, shoulder bursitis, tendinitis, and so on.
Shoulder infiltration effectively reduces inflammation, ensures pain relief, and facilitates the shoulder joint’s faster recovery, which means that improvement is quicker and longer-lasting compared to other oral analgesic treatments or possible surgical treatments.
How Is a Shoulder Infiltration Performed?
Shoulder infiltration is done on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia, and while ultrasound support was not previously used, it has been found that ultrasound is a great ally for the specialist, as it can precisely identify the exact location of the painful shoulder where the pharmacological substance should be introduced to reduce adverse effects.
Although this rehabilitative treatment may seem quite simple, it is essential that it is performed by a specialized doctor who will ensure compliance with protocols, hygiene and disinfection measures, and the correct use of instruments to ensure successful treatment of shoulder injuries.
In a shoulder infiltration, the main risks are contracting an infection at the puncture site and suffering additional complications due to medical malpractice; therefore, we consider it essential to leave the procedure in the hands of a highly trained professional.
The effects of shoulder infiltration may be noticeable within the first 24 to 48 hours and can last for weeks or even months. It is recommended to limit the application of infiltrations to 3 times a year.
When Should a Shoulder Infiltration Be Done?
Doctors typically recommend this pain treatment for patients suffering from inflammatory shoulder pathologies, with the most common being shoulder bursitis, tendinitis, tendinosis, calcifications, and occasionally other issues in the glenohumeral area or the subacromial space.
Guided infiltrations immediately contribute to relieving shoulder joint pain, reducing inflammation, and promoting the regeneration of soft tissues, resulting in an improved quality of life for patients with a painful shoulder.
Shoulder Infiltration for Bursitis
Shoulder bursitis is often very painful and can persist for a long time, leading both the doctor and the patient to seek various rehabilitative treatment alternatives. One of these is the subacromial space infiltration with corticosteroids, done with the aim of relieving symptoms associated with bursa inflammation.
Shoulder Infiltration for Tendinitis
Patients with rotator cuff tendinitis experience functional improvement in joint movement, as well as in the rest of the load and friction actions of the limb, thanks to infiltrations with platelet-rich plasma or collagen.
Shoulder Infiltration with Hyaluronic Acid
Subacromial infiltration with hyaluronic acid has shown a high level of effectiveness in reducing chronic shoulder pain. It is supported by multiple international scientific studies, considering it a safe pain treatment method for adults.
Shoulder Infiltration with Platelets
Intradermal platelet injection promotes the regeneration and repair of damaged soft tissues. Platelet-rich plasma is obtained autologously, so there is no risk of toxicity or allergies in the patient.
Shoulder Infiltration with Ozone
Ozone treatment has satisfactory results in enhancing reconstructive and healing effects on the soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system, especially when dealing with a painful joint condition.
Shoulder Infiltration with Betamethasone
Local infiltrations with betamethasone (a corticosteroid) represent a cost-effective option with minimal complications and significant benefits in joint functionality (improved mobility and less pain). For this reason, the application of this technique has seen high demand in recent years.
How Much Does a Shoulder Infiltration Cost?
The cost of a shoulder infiltration in Panama typically varies depending on the type of medication to be injected and the treatment protocol based on shoulder injuries and functional recovery.
If you are considering this option to address your shoulder pain, we recommend contacting us as soon as possible to provide you with a quote tailored to your needs.
Is Shoulder Infiltration Painful?
The injection in guided shoulder infiltrations is very similar to any other arm inoculation or vaccine. Although it is not painful, the patient may experience slight discomfort as the syringe comes into direct contact with the body. However, there will be no additional sensations afterward.
Benefits of Shoulder Infiltration Compared to Other Treatments
Shoulder infiltration with medications like hyaluronic acid or steroids can help relieve pain in the affected area. These medications are injected directly into the joint or surrounding tissues, providing faster and localized relief.
Reduction of Inflammation
Shoulder infiltration helps reduce inflammation in the nerve distribution causing pain, leading to a decrease in symptoms and an improvement in shoulder function.
Identification of the Cause of Pain
In some cases, shoulder infiltration can help the doctor identify a more specific cause of pain. Significant pain relief after infiltration indicates that the pain’s cause is related to the infiltrated joint or soft tissues.
Improved Quality of Life
By reducing pain and inflammation, shoulder infiltration allows patients to function better in their daily lives, without the restrictions caused by pain.
Post-Shoulder Infiltration Care
After undergoing shoulder infiltration, it is important to follow certain care steps to ensure proper recovery. In this regard, the main recommendations are:
Rest and Limited Activity
The specialist will recommend limiting activity of the infiltrated shoulder during the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Resting the shoulder and avoiding abrupt movements will help reduce inflammation and allow the medication to take effect.
Application of Ice
Applying ice to the infiltrated area is very useful for reducing inflammation and relieving pain. It is advised to apply ice packs wrapped in a towel for 15-20 minutes, several times a day, during the first few days after the procedure.
Avoiding Intense Activities
During the recovery period, it is important to avoid activities that may exert excessive pressure or stress on the infiltrated shoulder. This may include lifting heavy objects, repetitive movements, or participating in contact sports.
Following the Doctor's Instructions
It is essential to follow the specific instructions and recommendations provided by the doctor who performed the infiltration. Common practices include taking prescribed medications, engaging in rehabilitation exercises, and scheduling follow-up visits.
Monitoring for Complications
During the recovery process, you should be vigilant for any signs of complications such as increased pain, redness, excessive swelling, fever, or any other concerning symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advisable to contact the doctor immediately.
Shoulder Infiltration Pain Mitigation
During shoulder infiltration, addressing pain mitigation is crucial to ensure patient comfort. The introduction of substances into the joint or tissue can cause discomfort, so it is important to use techniques that minimize pain.
Relaxation and Breathing Techniques
Relaxation and breathing techniques can significantly influence the patient’s emotional state. Relaxation helps reduce muscle tension, facilitating the administration of the infiltration and decreasing the sense of discomfort. Additionally, deep and controlled breathing helps calm the patient and minimize the perception of pain during the procedure.
Use of Local Anesthesia and Its Effectiveness
The use of local anesthesia is essential to ensure patient comfort during shoulder infiltration. Local anesthesia numbs the specific area where the infiltration will take place, minimizing the sensation of pain and associated discomfort.
After the shoulder infiltration procedure, the patient will experience relief from joint pain and inflammation, improving shoulder mobility and functionality. However, it is important to follow the specialist’s instructions regarding post-care and allowed activities to ensure optimal recovery.
Common Sensations After the Procedure
Following shoulder infiltration, the patient may feel a mild numbness in the infiltrated area due to local anesthesia. Beyond this, they should be attentive to any unusual reactions that may require additional medical attention.
Recovery Time and Return to Normal Activities
The recovery time after a shoulder infiltration is usually relatively short. During the first 24 hours, it is recommended to keep the joint at rest, and in some cases, a sling may be used for added comfort. However, most patients return to their normal activities in a short time, following the specialist’s instructions to avoid excessive strain on the infiltrated joint.
Factors Influencing Pain Perception
The specialist’s experience performing the infiltration, the technique used, the individual patient’s response to local anesthesia and the injected substance, as well as the specific condition of the shoulder, are some of the factors that can affect pain perception during the procedure.
Type of Injected Substance and Its Impact
During shoulder infiltration, different substances can be used, including anesthesia, corticosteroids, and platelet-rich plasma. The choice of injected substance may vary depending on the specific needs of the patient and the condition being treated. For example, local anesthesia numbs the area during the procedure, while corticosteroids help reduce inflammation and alleviate long-term pain.
On the other hand, platelet-rich plasma is used to promote the regeneration of damaged tissues. Each of these substances has a specific impact on the patient’s recovery process, and it is the specialist who will determine which is most suitable in each case.
Infiltration Technique and Specialist's Experience
The infiltration technique used and the experience of the specialist performing it are fundamental aspects of the patient’s experience. A highly trained and experienced specialist in shoulder infiltrations can perform the procedure precisely and with a personalized approach, considering the specific needs of each patient.
The choice of the appropriate infiltration technique can also influence the effectiveness of the treatment and the patient’s comfort during the procedure. Therefore, it is essential to trust the skills of the specialist to ensure a successful shoulder infiltration and the most comfortable experience possible.