Can You Have a Joint Aspiration on Coumadin (warfarin)?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

Is it safe to have a joint aspiration or injection while taking the blood thinner Coumadin?

Doctor's response

In a careful study (Arthritis Rheum. 1998;41:736-739), researchers found a very low risk of bleeding. They also found significant benefit for patients after either aspiration (withdrawal of fluid) or joint injection procedures. This has been supported by other studies.

Some doctors recommend topical application of cold pack or ice pack after such procedures to minimize the risk of bleeding as well as to reduce local inflammation after the procedure.

Thank you for your question.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018