Synovial fluid or joint fluid is a thick fluid that serves to lubricate the joints of the body so that they are easy to move. Synovial fluid analysis can be performed on a person who has joint disorders in order to determine the cause.
Joint disorders can be characterized by initial symptoms in the form of stiffness or joint pain when moving. The older a person gets, the risk of joint disorders will be higher.
Disorders of the joint, such as inflammation or injury to the joint, can create problems with synovial fluid. In fact, this synovial fluid has an important role in keeping joints healthy, strong, and able to move properly. When synovial fluid in the joints is reduced, the joints will be easily damaged.
Synovial Fluid Analysis Procedure
Synovial fluid or joint fluid analysis is often done by doctors to evaluate the condition of problematic joints.
Synovial fluid examination is usually performed in patients who have complaints of joint pain or swelling in the joints of unknown cause. In addition, this examination is also performed if the patient has difficulty moving due to joint disorders.
Synovial fluid analysis is done by taking synovial fluid from the joint using a syringe. However, before taking the fluid, the doctor will give anesthesia or local anesthetic first so that the process of taking joint fluid is not painful.
After anesthesia, the synovial fluid collection procedure will begin. The syringe will be directed to take a sample of synovial fluid from the inflamed joint for examination. This process can be done in the doctor's office and only takes a few minutes.
Generally, synovial fluid tends to be colorless or clear like egg white. However, if there is inflammation in the joints, the color of the synovial fluid can change to a cloudy yellow color. Meanwhile, if the problematic joint is infected, the synovial fluid will appear greenish yellow.
When synovial fluid changes color to reddish, it generally indicates bleeding in the joint.
Synovial fluid viscosity level was also checked in the analysis process. The reason is that the synovial fluid in people with arthritis will be more watery due to a decrease in the production of hyaluronic acid, which is a substance that functions to form synovial fluid.
Things to Pay Attention to Before and After Analysis
For those of you who will perform a synovial fluid examination, there are several things that must be considered.
Before the examination is carried out, it is recommended that you tell your doctor about your history of drug allergies in order to avoid allergic reactions that may occur during the synovial fluid analysis.
Also tell the doctor about your medical history, including herbal medicines or supplements that you have taken before this analysis procedure is carried out. Synovial fluid analysis is not recommended in patients who have the following conditions:
- Using blood thinning drugs such as warfarin
- Taking medication that can slow blood clotting, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Having too little synovial fluid in the joints
- Undergoing corticosteroid treatment or receiving corticosteroid injections into the joints
- Have a skin infection in the area around the inflamed joint
After the synovial fluid analysis is completed and the cause of joint pain is known, the doctor will provide several further treatment steps, either by administering drugs, physiotherapy, or surgery.
During treatment, it is important to always keep the joint area clean and dry to avoid infection. Pain and discomfort in the joint may be felt for several days after the fluid analysis procedure is performed.
To reduce the discomfort that is felt after this procedure, a pain reliever may be given by a doctor. Make sure that you only take painkillers that are recommended by your doctor because some painkillers, such as aspirin, can increase the risk of bleeding.
Immediately consult a doctor if you experience symptoms of joint disorders. Consult the possibility of a synovial fluid analysis to help determine the cause of your condition.