A guide to joint and soft tissue corticosteroid injection. Part 1: general principles and the knee
Musculoskeletal complaints account for a large and growing proportion of GP consultations. A small proportion of patients with these complaints will be referred to musculoskeletal specialists but most will be managed by general practitioners. Joint aspiration and injection are remarkably useful tools in the daily repertoire of specialist rheumatologists, and can have equal utility in general practice. Aspiration is fundamental in the diagnosis of conditions such as gout, pseudogout and joint sepsis, and a well placed corticosteroid and local anaesthetic injection can provide prolonged symptom relief in patients with established soft tissue or articular pathology.