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Table 4 Characteristics of Common Joint Aspirations

From: A narrative review of the last decade’s literature on the diagnostic accuracy of septic arthritis of the native joint

Joint Approach Typical Fluid Amounta (mL) [21] Additional Notes
Shoulder Anterior, at half the distance between coracoid and anterolateral edge of acromion 40–60 ml Aim needle posteriorly and err laterally to avoid neurovascular bundle of the brachial plexus
Elbow Posterior, just anterolateral to the acromion 20–30 ml Aim the needle medially and anteriorly
Hip Lateral/medial/or anterior 5–12 ml [15] Utilize ultrasound to guide the needle into the area to be drained
Knee Lateral, at the superior pole of patella 100–200 ml The needle should “pop” through the lateral retinaculum before you enter the joint space
Ankle Just lateral to peroneus tertius tendon 20–30 ml Posterior approach is not recommended as it can damage the articular surface
  1. aDetermined via saline loading
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