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Do You Need A Joint Aspiration?

Joint Pain
Joint Pain

Rheumatic disorders such as joint injuries, infections and arthritis are often associated with intense joint pain symptoms and swelling. The inflammation is a result of excess fluid that is being collected within the joint capsule. Your doctor may attempt to remove the excess fluid by means of using a syringe to reduce the joint pain. This is the process that is called joint aspiration or arthrocentesis.

This is a procedure that is considered quick and safe and requires a local anesthetic to be applied- this is to ensure minimal pain and discomfort. Medical imaging such as ultrasound can be performed prior, to ensure that the needle does indeed enter the joint capsule and reduces the risk of it perforating other tissues.

There are a couple of reasons because of which your doctor may suggest a joint aspiration procedure:

  • If Your Joint Contain Excess Fluid

The joint capsule is the flexible soft tissue that envelops a joint- the part where two adjacent bones meet. The joint capsule may contain a drop or two of synovial or joint fluid. The joint fluid may also contain pus or blood as a result of infection or injury. Depending on your anatomy, the joint may contain excess fluid but may not appear inflamed or swollen.

  • If Your Swollen Joint Is Excruciatingly Painful

One of the main symptoms when it comes to arthritis is the swelling of the joint that worsens the pain and makes the joint appear stiff. It may become difficult to bend and move your joint about, with the mobility severely restricted. The doctor can relieve some of the pressure by means of removing the synovial fluid; reducing the inflammation and discomfort.

  • To Get A Better Idea Of Your Condition

The fluid that is present in the joint capsule can be studied under a microscope, and this can provide important clues relating to your diagnosis. This can help the doctor in confirming or ruling out the diagnosis. For example, the microscopic crystals present in the joint fluid can point to gout. If the fluid is aspirated- for example, if it is pink or red in color, then injury could be regarded as a viable cause, or if the synovial fluid is yellowing and opaque, then it could point to septic arthritis.

For most people, joint aspiration is a safe procedure. You needn’t think too much if you feel immobilized by your pain; get in touch with your doctor and let them handle it from thereon.