Joint aspiration and injection (1544)

Key points below

What is a joint aspiration and injection?

Both procedures are done to help with pain and swelling in a joint.

Special preparation

If your child will be given medicine before the procedure, follow these directions: 

No solid food 8 hours before the scan.
No milk or formula for 6 hours before the scan.
No breast milk for 4 hours before the scan.
No clear liquids for 2 hours before the scan.

Please note:
If your child does not follow these instructions, and eats or drinks anything after the times listed above, the procedure may need to be cancelled. 

How is the procedure done?

How long does it take? 

The procedure will take about 20-45 minutes.  It depends on whether sedation is needed. Your child may have to go to recovery before going home. 

Are there side effects?

If medicine is given to make your child sleepy, they may:

Activities after the procedure

Your child should not run or jump for 2 days after the procedure. Quiet activities like reading or playing board games are okay. Less activity helps the medicine to work in the joint. 

When will I get the test results?

If joint fluid was sent to the lab, the doctor or nurse will call you with the test results. Remember, fluid is not always removed from the joint. 


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:

  • A temperature over 101°F (38.3°C).
  • More pain, swelling or redness of the joint.
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.