Aspiration and Injection Techniques of the Lower Extremity

Christopher P. Chiodo, MD; Catherine Logan, MD, MBA, MSPT; Cheri A. Blauwet, MD


J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2018;26(15):e313-e320. 

In This Article


Aspiration and injection of joints and soft tissues are safe and effective techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Intra-articular aspiration provides invaluable diagnostic information in cases of septic arthritis and inflammatory arthritides. Injection of local anesthetic may be of great utility for diagnostic purposes, and corticosteroid injections may be both diagnostic and therapeutic. Although correct needle placement in most of the peripheral joints of the lower extremity is routine in the hands of the experienced clinician, the use of image guidance to localize joint and soft-tissue structures may be beneficial. Correct needle placement has important implications for the administration of local treatment and underscores the significance of US as a useful device in clinical practice.