Joint aspiration is a standard procedure where a needle and syringe are used to remove fluid from the joint. The goal is to reduce swelling and inflammation or obtain fluid for closer analysis of joint problems.

The procedure is most frequently performed on the knee, but it can also be done on the elbow, shoulder, wrist, hip, or ankle.

Joint aspiration can help diagnose and treat conditions like:

  • Inflammation
  • Gout
  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid disease
  • Bursitis
  • Other conditions that cause fluid build-up near a joint

The procedure is performed in-office, and it only takes around ten minutes. You will first be asked to lie down in a comfortable position that allows the doctor straight access to the problematic joint. Sometimes they can use ultrasound or other imaging techniques to help guide the needle. The doctor may also use an anesthetic or numbing agent to prepare the injection site. Once the procedure is finished, you may receive a corticosteroid injection or viscosupplementation based on the nature of your joint problem. Once the local anesthetic wears off, you are free to leave. You may experience mild soreness for a day or two following the procedure.

There are few side effects reported, including:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Local pain around the injection site
  • Cartilage damage
  • Allergic reaction
  • Infection

Joint aspiration takes the pressure of the joints, reduces inflammation, and alleviates pain. If you want to find out whether you are a candidate for joint aspiration, schedule an appointment at Space City Pain, where qualified experts can help uncover the cause of your pain and create an adequate treatment plan.