Joint Wash-Out

What is a Joint Wash-Out?

This is a procedure carried out under anaesthetic. It is possible for a large joint to become swollen with either a collection of blood inside the joint or fluid resulting from infection. In such circumstances it is desirable to remove the blood or infected fluid. If blood remains inside a joint in large quantities it can become solid and fibrous. This effectively is scar tissue that dramatically reduces the joint range of movement and perhaps immobilises it completely.

thumb pain

Why should I have a Joint Wash-Out?

Should the infected fluid or ‘pus’ not be drained from a joint, then the infection may get into the blood stream and you may become septic and extremely unwell. The other main problem is that untreated infection within a joint will cause on-going destruction of the cartilage and soft tissues, rendering the joint unstable. Finally, the joint then becomes scarred and immobile.

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Information For GPs

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