Effective analgesic alternatives to interscalene brachial plexus block are sought for shoulder surgery. Peri-articular infiltration analgesia is a novel, less invasive technique, but evidence surrounding its use is unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to evaluate the utility of peri-articular infiltration analgesia in shoulder surgery. We searched literature for trials comparing peri-articular infiltration analgesia with control or with interscalene brachial plexus block. Control groups received no intervention, placebo or systemic opioids. The primary outcome was cumulative oral morphine equivalent consumption during the first 24 h postoperatively. Secondary outcomes included: rest pain scores up to 48 h; risk of side-effects; and durations of post-anaesthetic care unit and hospital stay. Data were pooled with random-effects modelling. Seven trials (383 patients) were included. Compared with control, peri-articular infiltration analgesia reduced 24-h oral morphine consumption by a mean difference (95%CI) of -38.0 mg (-65.5 to -10.5; p = 0.007). It also improved pain scores up to 6 h, 36 h and 48 h, with the greatest improvement observed at 0 h (-2.4 (-2.7 to -1.6); p < 0.001). Peri-articular infiltration analgesia decreased postoperative nausea and vomiting by an odds ratio (95%CI) of 0.3 (0.1-0.7; p = 0.006). In contrast, peri-articular infiltration analgesia was not different from interscalene brachial plexus block for analgesic consumption, pain scores or side-effects. This review provides moderate evidence supporting peri-articular infiltration for postoperative analgesia following shoulder surgery. The absence of difference between peri-articular infiltration analgesia and interscalene brachial plexus block for analgesic outcomes suggests that these interventions are comparable, but further trials are needed to support this conclusion and identify the optimal peri-articular infiltration technique.