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close this bookMinor Surgical Procedures in Remote Areas (MSF, 1989, 172 p.)
close this folderChapter 3: Catheterisation and drainage
View the documentCatheterisation of large veins
View the documentLumbar puncture
View the documentPleural puncture
View the documentThoracic drainage
View the documentPericardial puncture
View the documentDrainage of ascites and intra-peritoneal perfusion
View the documentPuncture and drainage of the knee

Puncture and drainage of the knee

Drainage of fluid in the articular cavity of the knee.


· Painful hemarthroses in cases of knee torsion: wait 24 to 48 hours before puncture and drainage to allow the hematoma to collect and to prevent recurrence.

· Hydarthrosis: injection of diagnostic fluid or removal of post-trauma serous fluid.

If pus is found in the joint space, surgical drainage is necessary.


Large bore needle and syringe or trochar.

Figures 67, 68

· Rigorous asepsis: drapes and sterile gloves, clean with polyvidone iodine (see table page 7).

· Puncture with a trocar or large needle at an angle above and lateral to the knee cap, and 1/2 cm above and behind.

· Advance at an angle of 45° to the horizontal and sagittal planes, and push the needle behind the knee cap.

· To empty the cavity, squeeze the quadriceps muscle with the left hand while aspirating on the syringe with the other hand.