Joint aspiration is a procedure where a needle and syringe are used to remove fluid from the space around a joint. It is most often done on the knee, but may also be performed on the ankle, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hip. Removing fluid from a joint helps relieve pressure and pain, and helps improve joint movement.
This procedure may be done to relieve swelling, or to obtain fluid to analyze for diagnosis of a joint issue.
Joint aspiration can be important for diagnosing gout, various types of arthritis, and joint infection.