Joint aspiration, also known as arthrocentesis, is a procedure where a needle and syringe are used to remove fluid from a joint. The fluid is removed for diagnostic lab testing, and/or to alleviate pressure and relieve joint pain. It is often used to treat or diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudogout, and bursitis.
The synovial fluid taken from a joint during arthrocentesis (joint aspiration) may be tested in a lab as part of the diagnostic process. Learn how chemical, microscopic, and microbial analyses can help support or rule out the diagnosis of certain conditions.
Read a step-by-step overview of arthrocentesis, also called joint aspiration. This simple procedure typically does not require preparation, and may be done with medical imaging, such as ultrasound or fluoroscopy, to help guide the needle into place.
Arthrocentesis, also called joint aspiration, involves using a needle or syringe to drain the fluid from a joint capsule. Arthrocentesis may be used to both diagnose and treat joint problems, such as arthritis. A similar procedure, called bursal aspiration, is used to treat bursitis.