Are corticosteroid injections more beneficial than anaesthetic injections alone in the management of rotator cuff-related shoulder pain? A systematic review

Tim Cook, Catherine Minns Lowe, Mark Maybury, Jeremy S Lewis
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018, 52 (8): 497-504

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of corticosteroid injections to local anaesthetic injections in the management of rotator cuff-related shoulder pain (RCRSP).

DESIGN: Systematic review with best evidence synthesis.

DATA SOURCES: The Cochrane, PubMed, CINAHL Plus, PEDro and EMBASE electronic databases were searched (inception until 8 June 2017). Reference lists of included articles were also hand searched.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Two reviewers independently evaluated eligibility. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included if they compared subacromial injections of corticosteroid with anaesthetic injections. Two reviewers independently extracted data regarding short-term, midterm and long-term outcomes for pain, self-reported function, range of motion and patient-perceived improvement.

RESULTS: Thirteen RCTs (n=1013) were included. Four trials (n=475) were judged as being at low risk of bias. Three studies of low risk of bias favoured the use of corticosteroid over anaesthetic-only injections in the short term (up to 8 weeks). There was strong evidence of no significant difference between injection types in midterm outcomes (12-26 weeks). There was limited evidence of no significant difference between injection types in long-term outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Corticosteroid injections may have a short-term benefit (up to 8 weeks) over local anaesthetic injections alone in the management of RCRSP. Beyond 8 weeks, there was no evidence to suggest a benefit of corticosteroid over local anaesthetic injections.


Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"