Joint injections and aspirations are used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. For diagnostic purposes, fluid aspiration and analysis of the fluid can help identify a variety of joint pathologies. Also, a response to an injected anesthetic can help diagnose certain joint conditions. Injections of a glucocorticoids at particular sites of inflammation are used to treat different forms of arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis or other injuries involving the joints and their components.
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With joint injections, health care professionals place a needle into affected joints both to assess and to treat jointproblems. In a joint aspiration, the needle is used to draw out fluid from the joint, either to help in a diagnosis or to get rid of a collection of fluid that is causing problems. In contrast, in a joint injection of a therapeutic agent, the needle is used to inject a steroid, anesthetic, or a steroid-anesthetic mix into the joint to treat problems associated with joint inflammation and pain, such as arthritis or other conditions or injuries that cause pain or decreased range of motion.