Comparative Effectiveness of Corticosteroid Dosages for Ultrasound-Guided Glenohumeral Joint Hydrodilatation in Adhesive Capsulitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2023 May;104(5):745-752. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.11.007. Epub 2022 Dec 12.


Objective: To investigate the efficacy of hydrodilatation with 40 mg triamcinolone acetonide (TA) compared with the same procedure with 10 mg TA in patients with adhesive capsulitis (AC) of the shoulders.

Design: Prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial with 12 weeks of follow-up.

Setting: Tertiary care rehabilitation center.

Participants: Eighty-four patients diagnosed with AC (N=84).

Interventions: Ultrasound guidance using (A) hydrodilatation with 4 mL of TA (40 mg)+4 mL 2% lidocaine hydrochloride+12 mL normal saline or (B) hydrodilatation with 1 mL of TA (10 mg)+4 mL 2% lidocaine hydrochloride+15 mL normal saline through the posterior glenohumeral recess.

Main outcome measures: Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI), visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, and range of motion (ROM) at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks after injection.

Results: Both groups experienced improvements in the SPADI score, VAS scores for pain, and ROM throughout the study period. However, group-by-time interactions were not significant for any outcome measurement at any follow-up time point. No adverse events were reported in either group.

Conclusion: Ultrasound-guided hydrodilatation with 40 and 10 mg TA yielded similar improvements in SPADI, VAS score, and ROM at the 12-week follow-up. Considering the potential detrimental effects of corticosteroids on the adjacent cartilage and tendons, a low dose of TA would be preferable for ultrasound-guided hydrodilatation for AC.

Trial registration: NCT04364425.

Keywords: bursitis; pain; shoulder; steroids; ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Bursitis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Bursitis* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular / methods
  • Lidocaine
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Saline Solution / pharmacology
  • Saline Solution / therapeutic use
  • Shoulder Joint* / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Pain / drug therapy
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional


  • Saline Solution
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Lidocaine

Associated data