Very little is known concerning the lymphatic drainage of joints, although much has been written about the lymphatics of the other serous cavities. In the textbooks on anatomy, and even in the larger atlases, one rarely finds mention of lymphatics in joint cavities. The normal physiology of the lymphatics draining joint cavities and the functional disturbances which they manifest in disease are understood even less clearly. Since the discovery of lymphatic vessels by Asellius in 1622, many studies have been made to determine their presence and distribution in various parts of the body, but little has been learned of their function. The study of articular lymphatics was neglected until interest was aroused in the complex anatomy and physiology of the joints.
The study and dissection of the lymphatics by early investigators1 led them to conclude that there were two channels of lymphatic drainage in the limbs, a deep and