Joint Fluid Analysis

Submitted on March 27, 2012

There are many different joints in the human body that aid mobility. Some of these joints, like the knee joint, are filled with a fluid. This fluid is used to cushion the shock of impacts in the joint. This fluid is also used to lubricate the joint to ensure that there is no friction. Friction would cause pain and would also lead to the wear and tear of the bones in the joint. The fluid present in these joints is known as synovial fluid.

Joint fluid analysis is used to determine various different aspects of the fluid present in the joint. The primary indication for joint fluid analysis is pain and difficulty with mobility. The pain may be specific to the joint in question or may be generally present in the affected area. Synovial joints may be affected by infections, gout, arthritis or injury. All of these conditions may be diagnosed using joint fluid analysis.

Types of Joint Fluid Analysis

There are various types of joint fluid analysis like the knee joint fluid analysis, or that of the shoulder and so on. There is no special joint fluid analysis preparation needed from the patient. In most cases, the patient will be in pain in any case, so the procedure should not worsen the pain.

Joint Fluid Analysis Test

The joint fluid analysis is conducted by sticking a thick needle into the affected joint. The needle insertion process is quite painful and is the only joint fluid analysis pain that the patient should experience. Once a sufficient amount of fluid is collected, the patients wound will be sealed. The fluid is then sent to a laboratory so that a joint fluid analysis test can be conducted.

During a joint fluid analysis test, the technician will check for various different aspects associated with the fluid. The thickness and color of the fluid are important. Chemical tests will be conducted to check what substances are present in the joint fluid. The fluid will also be tested for crystals which would be present if the patient is suffering from gout. The joint fluid analysis information will then be passed on to the doctor. If there is a suspicion of some infection, the joint may be analyzed using a bacterial cultures procedure. This process takes some time and is often conducted over several days. There is a rare chance of the fluid getting septic after a joint fluid analysis.

Following the joint fluid analysis report, the patient will be prescribed some medication or some sort of therapy. This will be used to cure the problem or reduce the effect of the symptoms. Most patients will need assistance with walking after having undergone a joint fluid analysis test as the affected joint will be sore.