Joint effusion

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Classification according to ICD-10
M25.4 Joint effusion
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

A joint effusion is a multiplication of a hinge located synovial fluid or filling the joint cavity with normally not occurring in the joint body fluids . A distinction is made according to the type of liquid:

The causes of joint effusion include trauma , mechanical overload with inflammation of the synovial membrane ( synovitis ), damage to the joint cartilage and infections. Accumulations of pus are usually the result of a perforating injury, blood accumulations are the result of trauma or blood clotting disorders.

Every joint effusion is accompanied by a visible and palpable swelling of the affected joint and a feeling of tension. The diagnosis is made by puncturing the joint ( arthrocentesis ) and examining the puncture. Imaging methods do not allow reliable conclusions to be drawn about the type of fluid.

Persistent effusions lead to nutritional disorders of the articular cartilage and damage to the metabolism of the synovial membrane and, like bacterial effusions, definitely require treatment.


  • Helmut Rössler, Wolfgang Rüther: Orthopedics and trauma surgery with student consultancy access. 19th edition. Elsevier, Urban & Fischer Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-437-44445-X .
  • Winfried Mohr: Joint pathology: historical bases, causes and developments of joint diseases and their pathomorphology . Springer, 2000, ISBN 3-540-65971-4 .