How is anesthesia administered prior to wrist arthrocentesis?

Updated: Nov 03, 2020
  • Author: Richard S Krause, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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For local anesthesia (see Local Anesthetic Agents, Infiltrative Administration), the skin and subcutaneous tissues may be infiltrated down to the level of the periarticular lesion or joint capsule with 1% or 2% lidocaine via a small needle (25 or 27 gauge). However, many experienced clinicians prefer to use topical ethyl chloride or no anesthetic at all. This is often appropriate for joint aspiration because anesthetizing the capsule is difficult. A single quick needle thrust may be much less painful than the administration of local anesthesia.

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