Arthrocentesis

This is a procedure to take joint fluid out of a joint using a sterile needle. This can be done in most of the joints in the body, but it is usually done on larger ones, such as the knee or shoulder.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • 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

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    This is a procedure to take joint fluid out of a joint using a sterile needle. This can be done in most of the joints in the body, but it is usually done on larger ones, such as the knee or shoulder.

    Arthrocentesis
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Arthrocentesis is done to:

    • 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

    In some cases, the doctor may inject medication

    into the joint space after the fluid has been taken out.

  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

    • Infection of the joint
    • Bleeding into the joint
    • Increased pain

    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Infections on the skin
    • Recent fever or infection
    • Bleeding disorder
    • Use of blood thinners