Before the performance of the arthrocentesis. Some ancillary procedures will be requested to confirm the diagnosis, and these include either of the following:
- Imaging of the affected joint- Shows swelling of the involved joints, narrowing of the joint space
- Ultrasonography of the affected joint- this diagnostic procedure is of importance in guiding the practitioner during intraarticular injection of steroids.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging- this is a highly sophisticated machine that can give the clinician an early clue as to the type of joint inflammation that the patient has. Findings include pannus formation and thinning of the cartilage.
After the procedure, one may expect to have any of the following:
- Pain on the injection site – This can be relieved by taking analgesics such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or paracetamol or application of a pain reliever patch granted that it is placed away from the area of the puncture.
- Redness over the site of puncture– Placing an ice pack over the affected area for the first 48 hours can help numb the area and reduce the redness
- Presence of blood collection on the site of the procedure, otherwise known as a hematoma.
Of note, all of the above symptoms mentioned above are generally expected to happen post-procedure.
One should inform the medical practitioner for the presence of any of the following:
- Sudden onset of fever above 38 degrees Celsius
- Inability to move or mobilize the area involved in the procedure
- Pain on moving the body part involved in the procedure.