City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine: Arthrocentesis for Joint Relief
Experience Relief with Arthrocentesis
Arthrocentesis, commonly referred to as joint aspiration, is a minor surgical procedure designed to alleviate discomfort by draining excess synovial fluid (joint fluid) using a sterile needle and syringe. Typically conducted in a clinical setting, arthrocentesis provides relief to individuals experiencing swelling, inflammation, and pain in joints where an abnormal accumulation of fluid, known as effusion, has occurred. This procedure is frequently employed to address joint issues in the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, or ankle.
The Arthrocentesis Process
Arthrocentesis is conducted under local anesthesia, involving the insertion of a needle equipped with a syringe into the affected joint. To enhance precision and efficacy, ultrasound guidance may be employed in some cases. Additionally, corticosteroid medication may be administered into the joint during the procedure to further reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, provided there is no suspicion of infection. The aspirated joint fluid is then sent for laboratory analysis.
Laboratory testing plays a pivotal role in determining the cause of joint swelling and offers symptomatic relief. Synovial fluid undergoes visual, microscopic, and chemical examination for abnormalities. Cloudy or bloody fluid may signal infection or injury, while the presence of uric acid crystals is indicative of gout. Further abnormalities may involve glucose or protein levels.
Risks of Arthrocentesis
Arthrocentesis is generally safe for most patients, with minimal risk of bleeding or bruising at the injection site. Although brief and carried out under local anesthesia, some patients may experience discomfort. The corticosteroid typically has a localized effect, but in rare instances, it may lead to systemic effects like flushing, insomnia, or mood instability, particularly in patients with mood disorders. Patients with joint infections or allergies to procedure-related medications are typically not suitable candidates for arthrocentesis.
Seek relief and insights into your joint concerns with arthrocentesis at City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.