( Joint Aspiration)
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Reasons for Procedure
- Find out why a joint is painful, swollen, or fluid-filled
- Drain fluid out of a swollen joint to decrease pain and increase your ability to move the joint
- Diagnose the specific type of arthritis occurring within a joint
- Confirm a diagnosis of infection in the joint
- Check for crystals in the joint fluid, which could be a sign of gout
- Infection of the joint
- Bleeding into the joint
- Increased pain
- Infections on the skin
- Recent fever or infection
- Bleeding disorder
- Use of blood thinners
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
- For the first 24 hours, use an ice pack for 15-20 minutes at a time every 3-4 hours. Place a towel between your skin and the ice pack.
- To reduce discomfort, take a pain reliever.
- Ask your doctor when you can resume normal activities.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the site
- Pain that is not relieved by your pain medication
Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases http://www.niams.nih.gov
The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Injections and procedures for knee pain. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritistoday.org/where-it-hurts/knee-pain/treatment/knee-injection.php. Accessed July 23, 2013.
Questions and answers about arthritis and rheumatic diseases. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Arthritis/arthritis%5Frheumatic%5Fqa.asp. Updated April 2012. Accessed July 23, 2013.
Synovial fluid analysis. American Association for Clinical Chemistry Lab Tests Online website. Available at: http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/synovial/tab/glance. Updated April 10, 2012. Accessed July 23, 2013.
Zuber TJ. Knee joint aspiration and injection. Am Fam Physician. 2002;66(8):1497-1501.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 06/01/2013 -