What is the suprapatellar approach for knee arthrocentesis performed?

Updated: Nov 03, 2020
  • Author: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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For the suprapatellar approach, identify the midpoint of either the superomedial or the superolateral border of the patella. Insert an 18-gauge needle through the midpoint of either set of superior borders. Direct the needle toward the intercondylar notch of the femur. With this approach, the needle enters the suprapatellar bursa. Remember that in 10% of the population, the suprapatellar bursa does not communicate with the knee joint.

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