Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Joint lavage

Synonym(s): Joint flushing

Contributor(s): Neil Burton, James Cook

Introduction

Uses

  • Debridement:
    • Penetrating wounds to the joint.
  • Treatment of septic arthritis Arthritis: septic :
    • Employed in cases that are non-responsive to systemic antibacterial therapy within 48-72 hours.
    • Cases of joint infection following surgery.
    • Should be performed after joint fluid has been aseptically obtained for cytology and culture.
    • Consider synovial biopsy Biopsy: synovia for cytology and culture prior to lavage.
  • Not usually indicated with polyarthritis.

Advantages

  • Facilitates exploration of articular and soft tissue structures of the joint.
  • Collection of joint fluid and synovial membrane biopsy for culture (septic arthritis).
  • Removal of foreign material from within joint (penetrating wound).

Disadvantages

  • If arthrotomy used:
    • Invasive.
    • Prolonged healing/treatment time.
    • Lameness/painful procedure postoperatively.
  • If arthroscopy Arthroscopy used:
    • Technically demanding.
    • Cost of equipment.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Dependent on extent of damage and chronicity of infection in joint.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Jackson R W & Parsons C J (1973) Distension-irrigation treatment of major joint sepsis. Clin Orthop Rel Res (96), 160-164 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Denny H R & Butterworth S J (2000)Infective (Septic) Arthritis.In:A Guide to Canine and Feline Orthopaedic Surgery. Blackwell Science. ISBN 0-632-05103-5.
  • Brown S G & Newton L D (1985)Infectious arthritis and wounds of joints.In:Textbook of Small Animal Orthopedics. Newton C D & Nunamaker D M (eds). Philadelphia: Lippincott, ISBN: 0 3975 2098 0.
  • Schmid F R (1979)Principles of diagnosis and treatment of infectious arthritis.In:Arthritis and Allied Conditions. McCarty D J (ed). Philadelphia; Lea & Febiger.


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