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Aspiration of Elbow Joint


  • elbow can be entered either ulnarly or radially, but radial approach is preferred inorder to avoid ulnar nerve injury;
  • radial nerve is lies anterior to the elbow joint, and may be moved even more anteriorly by supinating the forearm;
  • landmarks for aspiration of the elbow joint are the radial head, lateral epicondyle, and tip of the olecranon (aconeus triangle);
  • prior to needle insertion, elbow flexed and pronated to protect the radial nerve;
  • 18 gauge needle is then place into the joint thru the soft spot;
  • w/ this approach, needle will penetrate only the anconeus & capsule