DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Shoulder effusion. Close-up of an effusion (swelling) of the shoulder of an 80 year old woman. The injury was caused by a fall. Effusion is the accumulation of fluid in the joint space causing swelling, limitation of movement, and usually pain and tenderness. Joints such as the shoulders usually contain small amounts of fluid for lubrication. Injuries which cause damage or inflammation result in the production of excessive amounts of this fluid. Painkillers and anti- inflammatory drugs can reduce the swelling. In rare cases the fluid may need to be withdrawn using a hypodermic needle. Falls are one of the most common causes of injury amongst the elderly.
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