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Test and Treatment: Joint Aspiration

During joint aspiration, fluid is withdrawn from a swollen joint with a needle and syringe, possibly under local anaesthesia. The fluid is then examined to find the cause of the swelling. Joint aspiration may also be carried out to relieve swelling due to excess fluid and to diagnose or treat disorders such as gout, pseudogout, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Inside the joint

Knee joint aspiration

You will be asked to keep your knee relaxed so that the needle can be inserted easily. The patella is held still while the needle is passed into the space under the patella and fluid is withdrawn. The fluid sample is then examined under a microscope to look for any visible abnormalities.


From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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