Joint aspiration, or arthrocentesis, is a medical procedure in which a doctor uses a needle and syringe to withdraw fluid from a swollen joint. This procedure is commonly employed for conditions like gout, where deposits of uric acid crystals (tophi) accumulate in the joints, causing extreme pain and inflammation. By examining the extracted fluid under a microscope, a doctor can identify these crystals, confirming a gout diagnosis and proper treatment.

This procedure is also necessary to alleviate excessive swelling in a gout-affected joint. When a joint is severely swollen due to gout, the accumulation of excess synovial fluid (the lubricating fluid within the joint) can contribute to the swelling and discomfort.

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