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Joint Aspiration


Joint aspiration is a procedure to remove fluid from the space around your joint. It may be done on a joint such as the knee, hip, ankle, shoulder, elbow, or wrist. It may be used to find the cause of a swollen joint. Joint aspiration can also be done to help decrease pain caused by swelling and improve movement of your joint.


Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have redness or swelling at the injection site.
  • You have more pain than usual in your joint for more than 72 hours.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Pain medicine may be given. Ask how to take this medicine safely.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.


  • Leave the bandage on for 8 to 12 hours. Care for your wound as directed.
  • Rest the area as directed. You may need to decrease weight on certain joints, such as the knee, for a period of time. Ask when you can return to your daily activities.
  • Elevate your limb where the joint aspiration was done. Elevate the limb above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your limb on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
  • Apply ice on your joint for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Joint Aspiration (Discharge Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.