What is a Joint Injection/Aspiration?
Joint injections/aspirations are procedures done under fluoroscopic guidance for pain management. The aspiration component is not always performed but serves to collect fluid from the joint for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.
How do I prepare for the exam?
Because of the minor invasive nature of the exam, patients are usually instructed to discontinue blood thinning medications for 4 days prior to exam. This should only be done under the guidance of the referring physician. No other preparations are required.
What will happen during the exam?
Initial images of the joint involved called Scout films will be taken. You will then be guided into proper positioning depending on the joint being treated. Antiseptic soap will be used to clean the area. Local anesthetic will be injected into the skin to effectively numb the area. A needle will then be inserted into the joint space. Contrast medium is then injected to confirm proper needle placement. The radiologist will then collect any fluid that may be in the joint. After the aspiration the radiologist will inject the medication indicated into the same space. The needle will be removed and a bandage will be placed over the site.
How long will the procedure take?
The procedure is set-up intensive so expect to be at the hospital for a least an hour.
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