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What to Expect With a Joint Fluid Aspiration

When seeing an orthopedic knee doctor, Green Bay residents might go through a variety of procedures as part of the diagnostic or treatment process. Joint fluid aspiration can be used to diagnose conditions or treat certain issues that can affect your knees. Learning more about the procedure can help to put you at ease since you will have a better idea about what to expect when you have the procedure.

Why is This Procedure Performed?

It is important to understand why this is being done. It is often done in a diagnostic sense when your doctor needs to evaluate a sample of your joint fluid for abnormalities. For example, if your doctor suspects that you have septic arthritis, this can be done to look for bacteria in your joint fluid. In some instances, this procedure is done as part of a treatment plan. For example, if you have too much fluid accumulating on your knee joint, this can make it hard to walk and it might cause intense pain. Removing some of the excess fluid can alleviate pain and make it easier to move around.

Getting Prepared

Your doctor will let you know if there is anything specific you need to do to make sure that you are prepared for this procedure. For example, you might need to alter your blood thinning medications if you take any to reduce the risk of bleeding during and after the aspiration. Once you get into the room, your doctor will clean and numb the joint that is being used for the fluid removal.

The Procedure

Once you are numb, all your doctor needs to do is carefully insert a needle into your joint and pull out some of the fluid. To ensure the proper placement of the needle, your doctor might use X-ray guidance so that he or she can see what they are doing. After they get all of the fluid they need, the needle is removed and the aspiration site will be covered with a bandage. On average, this process only takes five to ten minutes.

What Happens After the Procedure

You can go home after this procedure and there is no required hospital stay. Your doctor will let you know what the next step will be, depending on why you have the procedure done. This is a relatively safe procedure and it is uncommon for any complications or negative effects to occur.

You can see that a joint fluid aspiration is not as scary as it sounds. Your Fox Valley orthopedic knee doctor, whether in Green Bay, Oshkosh, or Appleton, can answer all of your questions and help you to determine if this procedure is right for you.

If you would like to request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI), please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online. Additionally, OSI now offers a Walk-In Clinic at its Appleton location for non-life threatening situations that require immediate attention.

The Orthopedic & Sports Institute has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.