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Joint Aspiration and Injection

Glebe Hill Family Practice offers joint aspiration and injection for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Our General Practitioners can perform knee and shoulder joint injections and aspirations. A referral can be arranged for other joints.

Joint aspiration and injection is performed under sterile conditions to reduce the risk of infection.

The possible causes of a swollen joint can include:

  • Joint effusion (too much fluid in the joint)
  • Septic arthritis (infection in the joint)
  • Crystal arthritis (such as gout)
  • Haemorrhage within the joint
  • Chronic arthritis (including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis)

Joint aspiration

Joint aspiration is indicated in a sore or swollen joint, to assist with diagnosis of the underlying problem. The Doctor carefully removes some fluid from within the joint and sends it to the Pathology Lab for assessment.

    Joint aspiration can also be therapeutic: removing excess fluid and reducing the pressure within the joint can relieve pain in a grossly swollen joint.

    Joint injection

    Steroid injections are commonly used for the treatment of joint and soft tissue disorders. Steroids have been shown to be helpful for easing pain and reducing high levels of inflammation. Steroid injections are often used in conjunction with local anaesthetic. 

    Like all medication, an individual’s response to a steroid injection cannot be predicted. Most patients experience an improvement in their symptoms lasting a few weeks. For some the beneficial effect will persist for several months. Some patients unfortunately gain little or no benefit. 

    Talk to your General Practitioner about whether joint aspiration and/or injection would be suitable for you.