When Should I Get My Teens Knee Pain Evaluated By A Healthcare Provider
Make an appointment to see your healthcare provider if:
- Your teens pain has lasted longer than two weeks or anytime theres an increase in pain level.
- Your teens knee is red, swollen or warm to the touch.
- Your teen cant put weight on their leg they limp.
- Your teens knee locks and cant move.
- Your teens kneecap feels like it slides out of place or the knee looks twisted.
- Your teen has knee pain during or after activity.
- Theres painful popping or clicking sound in your teens knee.
- Your teens knee doesnt have strength or full range of motion.
- Your teens pain wakes them up at night.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/30/2021.
Knee Aspiration: Everything You Need To Know
The knee can get affected in injuries, joint conditions or systemic illnesses, leading to pain and swelling of the knee joint. Knee swelling is mainly accumulation of fluid in or around the joint. Knee effusion or water on knee commonly occurs due to acute trauma, arthritis and other forms of joint disorders or infection.
In such situations, knee joint aspiration, also known as arthrocentesis is performed for aspiration of excess fluid. It can be performed as a diagnostic as well as treatment modality.1
Causes Of Water On The Knee
- Bursitis bursae are small fluid sacs close to the knee joint. If the sacs become irritated and swollen, one result is water on the knee. An overworked knee joint is susceptible to bursitis.
- A compromised meniscus, or other tendons and ligaments around the joint
- Fractured bone. Even a hairline/stress fracture can have noticeable side effects.
- Injury whether from repetitive stress or sudden trauma
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Treatment For A Swelling On Side Of Knee
With those that have a history of osteoarthritis and swelling after strenuous activity, like a workout or run, over-the-counter medications will help alleviate the pain. Patient may also apply compression sleeves to decrease the swelling during and after activity. Another way to decrease swelling at home is to use R.I.C.E.: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Knee is swollen from Bursitis
- Rest Rest the joint and refrain from hard workouts, sports, and prolonged activity for 24-48 hours. Normal range of motion should continue to decrease joint stiffening.
REST for the RICE Protocol
- Ice Ice can be applied to the knee 3-4 times a day for 15-20 minutes at a time. Ice should never be applied directly to the skin.
Ice for the RICE Protocol
- Compression An ace bandage, compression sleeve or socks may not only reduce swelling already present, but may limit knee swelling during activity.
Compression Socks for the RICE Protocol
- Elevation Reducing blood flow to the area by sitting with the leg on a stool or lying down with the foot on a pillow, will reduce swelling.
Elevation Above Your Heart for RICE
Image of a swollen knee
Deformities Of The Knee
The appearance of the knee can change during a flare and as damage progresses.
In RA, swelling and redness are common during a flare. In the long term, persistent inflammation can result in permanent damage to the cartilage and the tendons. This can affect the shape and appearance of the knee.
With OA, the muscles around the knee can weaken, resulting in a sunken appearance. The knees can start to point toward each other or bend outward.
Knee deformities range from barely noticeable to severe and debilitating.
Treatment will depend on the type of arthritis a person has.
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Knee Pain May Be A Symptom Of Sciatica
Common knee symptoms that you may experience when you have sciatica include:
- A warm sensation, sharp pain, or dull ache in the front, side, and/or back of the knee
- Inability to bear weight on the knee
- Buckling/giving out of the knee
- Weakness while extending the knee
When knee pain is a part of your sciatica symptoms, you may also experience pain in your buttock, thigh, calf, and/or foot. The pain will almost always affect one leg at a time, so knee pain in sciatica typically does not affect both knees together.
Read more about Sciatica Symptoms
Sciatica is commonly caused by a medical condition that affects your lower back. These underlying conditions may affect your spinal discs, nerve roots, joints, or soft tissues, such as muscles.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Knee Aspiration
While complications due to knee aspiration are less likely, there are some risks associated with any procedure. Some risks that may be involved with knee aspiration include discomfort and pain at the local site, sometimes swelling or bruising may be seen, rarely an infection can develop at the aspiration site or within the joint.
In order to avoid such complications, proper physician training is ensured and appropriate preventive measures are implemented.
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Aetiology Of Knee Pain
Pain when ascending or descending stairs may indicate pathology from the patellofemoral joints. This is a direct result of the increase contact pressures on the patella when the knee is loaded in a flexed position. There is an increased incidence of patellofemoral disorders in women.
Night pain is red flag symptom. The most common cause of night pain in the adult is a severe degenerative arthritis. However, night pain in a child or a young adult may indicate an underlying pathology such as infection or neoplasm. The presence of night pain in an older patient with normal plain radiology of the knee may also be a red flag symptom.
Indications Of Knee Aspiration For Therapeutic Purposes Include
- Relieving Tense Effusion When knee swelling is large or tense or pain causes discomfort, drainage of fluid helps to relieve the pressure and pain.2 Reduction in swelling and decreased tension aids in improving joint movement.
- Drainage of Infected Fluid In a known infective condition, drainage of septic effusion can help in providing relief, improve joint movement and prevent damage to the joint.
- Injection of Medications into the Knee Joint Knee aspiration and injection is at times performed to provide relief in joint conditions.3
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The Doctor Should Consider The Problem Worse Than The Patient Is Suggesting
Getting back to the idea that the patient does not know how bad it is. In March 2019, doctors at Brigham and Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine, Weil Cornell Medicine, and the Mayo Clinic released their findings that basically said, patients, do not know how bad their inflammation is. When a patient reports to the doctor that they have problems with swelling, the doctor should consider the problem worse than the patient is suggesting.
Listen to the learning points of the research published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.
- Synovitis is a prevalent feature in patients with knee osteoarthritis and meniscal tear and is associated with pain and cartilage damage.
- The researchers analyzed data from 276 patients. The patients self-reported their swelling episodes.
- Twenty-five percent of patients reported no swelling,
- 40% of patients reported had intermittent swelling,
- and 36% of patients reported had constant swelling.
When these patients had an MRI. The MRI found much more swelling than the patients reported. The conclusion of this study urged doctors to use caution against using patient-reported swelling as a proxy of inflammation manifesting as effusion-synovitis. In other words, the swelling is worse than the patients think it is. Simply, the knee is worse than they think it is.
Signs Your Knee Pain Stems From Your Spine
Here are a few things to watch for to determine if your knee pain may have the spine as its true source.
So if the pain is not isolated in the knee, dont assume the knee is the main problem area. If you are experiencing pain anywhere along the spine or throughout the upper half of the leg, youre probably looking at a bigger issue that needs to be addressed. The question is, how can you do so naturally?
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Everything You Need To Know About Water On The Knee
What is it and how is it treated?
Your knee typically has an ounce of liquid inside of it. However, when you have an injury, arthritis, or another problem that irritates your knee, fluid accumulates to cushion and protect your joints.
Clinically, this is known as knee effusion, but most people call it water on the knee.
Natural Relief For Knee Pain
Before you turn to invasive surgeries or give up your favorite pastime, why not give upper cervical chiropractic a try. It is a gentle form of chiropractic that is safe and effective for the whole family regardless of your age or present health.
To learn more, contact a practitioner in your area. A consultation will help you to determine if this is the right option for you. If so, you may discover that a few gentle adjustments set you on the path to better health and well-being. Hopefully, youll be able to join the ranks of upper cervical chiropractic patients who are now happy to be free from knee pain.
to schedule a consultation today.
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Why Does Fluid Gather In The Knee Joint
A swollen knee might be an indication that excessive fluid is present in the joint. In some cases, you may even be able to feel the liquid when you lightly press on the swollen area.
Like other problems associated with knee pain and swelling, trauma may have caused the fluid to build up in the knee joint. The knees response to trauma is to protect itself. The body will produce fluid that invades the space where the trauma occurred. This is often referred to as edema, to describe swelling that has resulted from fluid buildup.
One of the most common reasons for fluid build up is an arthritic joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is especially hard on knee joints, but can be successfully treated when properly diagnosed. Although medical science hasnt defined the cause for rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms have been defined and can include water on the knee.
Knee osteoarthritis is quite painful and can cause water on the knee. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in the knee wears down over time, resulting in bone on bone friction. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but the symptoms can be addressed.
If you have water on the knee that is accompanied with pain, stiffness, and fatigue, and the knee is warm to the touch, you might have rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are just two origins, but there are others.
The Causes Of Knee Pain
Not enough electrolytes: You are not getting enough minerals and salts in your body where they can do the most good. For the water cures protocol,
Not enough fluid: Not just any fluid. You are not getting enough water. Unfortunately, liquid is not an accurate term for what your body needs.
Yes we get liquids in juices. Our bodies do not read them as water and if they have sugar, they cause more damage than good when it comes knee pain. Even coffee does not work as a fluid. Actually, coffee is only slightly more dehydrating than water according to studies.
Yes, water on its own is dehydrating. You need the salt in your body before you drink the salt to get the benefit of the water.
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What Is The Recovery Period Following Knee Aspiration
In most cases, removal of excess fluid provides great relief in reducing swelling, pain and also improves joint movement. Further medications and joint compression helps to prevent recurrence. While improvement continues complete relief may be obtained in few weeks to months depending on the underlying cause of knee swelling. In some cases appropriate repair procedures may have to be performed.
It is important to follow medical advice regarding rest, movement of legs and other activities. It is advisable to avoid strenuous activities for a few days after the procedure. Medical opinion should be sought if there is redness, soreness, excessive pain, bleeding or oozing from the aspiration site, fever within few days of the procedure.
What Is Synovial Fluid Analysis Or Knee Aspiration Fluid Analysis
Synovial Fluid Analysis or Knee Aspiration Fluid Analysis When there is a suspicion of a particular condition, a diagnosis needs to be established. The synovial fluid, which is drained or aspirated from the joint, is examined and analyzed in the laboratory for its nature and presence of certain factors that aid in diagnosis of the condition. Specific findings help in determining the condition causing knee swelling.
The type of fluid and its detailed analysis guides in making a diagnosis of the condition. Some of the general findings include:
- Fracture or ligament injuries may show blood in the fluid.
- Meniscus injury or osteoarthritis may show straw colored or pale yellow fluid.
- Presence of crystals may mean gout or pseudogout.
- Turbid fluid or presence of pus may mean there is an infection.
- Gram staining and culture tests of the fluid can help in detecting the microorganism causing infection.
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Rapid Knee Swelling Without An Injury
Occasionally, a swollen knee develops rapidly without any injury. The most common causes of this are:
1. Infection: Infections increase in the amount of fluid produced in the joint resulting in a swollen knee. Knee infections usually develop after surgery or a deep cut, but sometimes an infection in your body can spread to your joint.
It is very difficult for your body to fight an infection within a joint and sometimes surgery is required before the swelling will go down.
2. Gout Knee: High levels of uric acid cause sharp, needle like crystals to form in your joints leading to inflammation and water on the knee.
Gout is usually treated with medication and appropriate diet. Find out more about the causes, symptoms and treatment options in the Gout Knee section.
What Are The Symptoms Of Patellar Tendonitis
The pain may at first be sporadic, occurring only after sports or exercise activity. As the tendon becomes more damaged, the pain can become progressively worse. It can interfere with any athletic activity, as well as with daily activities, such as climbing stairs or sitting in a car.
See your doctor if any pain or swelling lasts more than a day or two.
At the start of your appointment, your doctor will ask about:
- your physical activity
- when the symptoms occur
- any remedy youve tried that eases the pain
Your doctor will physically examine your knee, probe for where you feel pain, and test your range of knee motion by bending and extending your leg.
Your doctor may also order imaging tests to look at your kneecap and tendon to determine if theres any damage to the tendon or bone. These tests can also help rule out other possible causes of your pain, such as a fracture.
Your doctor may perform:
- an X-ray to look at the bone to determine whether you have a kneecap fracture or if your kneecap is displaced
- an to look at the tendon and show any damage to the soft tissue
- an ultrasound to look at the tendon and show any soft tissue damage
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How Do People Over 50 Typically Get Knee Meniscus Tears
There are two types of causes for meniscus tears, especially in individuals 50 and up.
The first is an acute injury, meaning something suddenly caused the meniscus to tear, strain, or stress. This can include stepping out of the car wrong, landing in a strange position, or taking a fall.
The other cause of meniscus tears occurs through chronic injuries, such as arthritis. Arthritis causes wear and tear on the joints, causing the connective tissue to slowly wear out.
When this happens, many individuals start to complain that they are unable to move their knees through a full range of motion and often experience pain when bending over or squatting down.
How Is Knee Pain In Teens Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your teens knee pain:
- Is there a known cause for the knee pain does it happen with certain movements or is there no specific known event?
- How long has the pain been present?
- Where on or around your knee do you feel pain?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
Your provider will perform a physical exam, checking:
- Kneecap and knee stability.
- Alignment of lower leg, kneecap and thigh.
- Range of motion of hips and knees.
- Thigh muscle strength, flexibility, firmness.
Your provider may order imaging tests including X-rays or a CT scan or MRI .
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