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What is joint aspiration (arthrocentesis)?

Joint aspiration or arthrocentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from around the joint space. This procedure is most often performed on the knee joint but can also be done for other joints such as the hip, ankle, shoulder, or wrist. 

Joint aspiration is used to diagnose or treat joint disorders, such as gout, arthritis, and joint infections. In some conditions, extra fluid builds up in the joint space. Removing the fluid relieves pressure and pain and will allow the joint to move better. At the same time, a sample of the fluid can be analyzed to diagnose joint conditions, and medicine can be placed into the joint space that will help with pain and inflammation.

During the procedure, your healthcare provider will clean the skin over the aspiration site with an antiseptic. Next, a small needle attached to a syringe is inserted into the joint space. Fluid in the joint will be pulled out into the syringe. Sometimes medication will be instilled into the joint space after the fluid is withdrawn. After the needle is removed, a small bandage or dressing will be applied.

When should you aspirate a joint?

What kind of doctor does joint aspiration?

How long does it take to recover from a joint aspiration?

Can you drive after a knee aspiration?

* Savings estimate based on a study of more than 1 billion claims comparing self-pay (or cash pay) prices of a frequency-weighted market basket of procedures to insurer-negotiated rates for the same. Claims were collected between July 2017 and July 2019. R.Lawrence Van Horn, Arthur Laffer, Robert L.Metcalf. 2019. The Transformative Potential for Price Transparency in Healthcare: Benefits for Consumers and Providers. Health Management Policy and Innovation, Volume 4, Issue 3.

Sidecar Health offers and administers a variety of plans including ACA compliant and excepted benefit plans. Coverage and plan options may vary or may not be available in all states.

Your actual costs may be higher or lower than these cost estimates. Check with your provider and health plan details to confirm the costs that you may be charged for a service or procedure.You are responsible for costs that are not covered and for getting any pre-authorizations or referrals required by your health plan. Neither payments nor benefits are guaranteed. Provider data, including price data, provided in part by Turquoise Health.

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