When To Contact A Doctor
Below are guidelines to help people decide if their knee swelling requires medical attention. If the person is still unsure whether to seek professional medical treatment, a phone call to a doctor or nurse can help determine whether an office visit is necessary.
A doctor should be contacted if:
- The knee is severely swollen or has a pronounced abnormality
- The knee cannot fully straighten or fully bend
- The knee is severely painful
- The person cannot bear weight on the knee, or feels as if the knee is going to “give out”
- The skin over the knee turns hot or red
- The person has a fever of 100.4° F or higher
- Knee swelling has been present for 3 days or longer
A doctor will examine the patient’s knee and ask the patient several questions. The physical examination and patient interview may provide enough information to make an accurate diagnosis. If more information is needed, the doctor may recommend medical imaging, such as an x-ray, or removing fluid from the knee using an in-office procedure called aspiration.
Seek immediate care if the leg swelling occurs suddenly with no known reason, particularly if it is accompanied by symptoms such as leg pain, chest pain, and/or problems breathing, as these may be signs of a life-threatening blood clot.
When Should I See A Doctor
If you ask me, its always best to see a doctor or other reputable health and wellness professionals if youre experiencing anything thats out of the ordinary.
However, I also understand that hiring these wellness professionals is expensive. I dont even follow my own advice because of financial constraints if Im being honest.
So, below is a list of what research considers red flags. If you experience any of them, be sure to get your symptoms reviewed by medically trained folk you trust.
- Losing pulse below your knee
- Partially or fully losing sensation below the knee
- Losing the ability to bear weight on your lef
To add, you should also seek your physicians help if neither of the home remedies and OTC meds works.
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.
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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
Drain Fluid From Knee Recovery Time
Naturally, since knee effusion can have such varied origins, one of the first things medical care providers must do is to attempt to identify the cause. Take it easy for at least a couple of days after you drain the fluid from your knee.
Ultrasonic or radio imaging will regularly be used to assess the situation better. Magnetic resonance imaging can also be used if the suspected reason lies in a damaged ligament or tendon. Laboratory tests such as the C-reactive protein blood exam can be performed if the infection is thought to be the cause of the swelling.
Once a clearer picture of the underlying source of the knee effusion has been identified, the most common course is prescription of some form of analgesic and steroidal treatment.
Unfortunately, these steroidal therapies often have secondary effects that can adversely affect the general health of patients. Some reported side effects of steroid therapy include elevated high blood pressure, increased risk for infection, and even osteoporosis.
Some studies have also suggested that steroid therapy is no better than a placebo for alleviating knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
To drain fluid from the knee naturally, there are a few methods that have shown excellent results. The most common way is called the I.C.E approach. ICE stands for Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
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How To Get Rid Of Fluid On Knee
If you have excess fluid around your knee joint, you may experience stiffness, bruising and pain when you place weight on the knee 1. In addition, youve probably noticed that your affected knee appears larger or puffier than your other knee. The excess fluid on the knee can be the result of trauma such as a ligament tear or overuse injuries or the result of underlying conditions you have such as an infection or arthritis 1. You can get rid of excess fluid on the knee at home and with treatments from your doctor 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Home Remedy To Remove Fluid Around The Knee
The knee is the largest joint in the body and is prone to injury. It endures tremendous stress, and a person does not have to be a sports enthusiast to injure their knee. Most often, when an injury occurs, there is pain and swelling. Occasionally, fluid can build up around the knee. Knowing how to get rid of this using simple home remedies can really help.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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How Is A Bakers Cyst Diagnosed
You need a professional medical exam to diagnose a Bakers cyst. During your appointment, your healthcare provider may do several tests to both confirm the Bakers cyst and figure out what might be causing it, including:
- Taking a medical history: Your healthcare provider will ask you about any previous injuries you may have had to your knee and go over your entire medical history.
- X-ray: This test wont necessarily show the Bakers cyst itself, but it can be used to see if you have arthritis in your knee. Arthritis is one of the possible causes of a Bakers cyst.
- Magnetic resonance imaging scans: An MRI uses magnetic waves instead of X-rays to show detailed images inside the body. This test can give your provider even more information about what might be causing the Bakers cyst.
- Ultrasound: A simple and painless test, an ultrasound uses sound waves to determine if the lump is solid or fluid.
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Indications Of Knee Aspiration For Diagnostic Purposes Include
- To evaluate joint effusion
- To assess unexplained monoarticular arthritis
- To evaluate possible infective or septic arthritis
- To evaluate type of arthritis and joint related conditions
- To determine presence of crystal induced conditions like gout
- To determine the nature of accumulated fluid and cytology studies in synovial fluid analysis.
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What Are Potential Risks Or Complications Of Arthrocentesis And Joint Injections
Joint aspirations and injections are relatively safe. Rarely, these complications develop:
- Allergic reaction: Some people are allergic to the anesthetic or the injectable medication. In very rare instances, this can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening response.
- Infection: Rarely, people develop infections after getting steroid injections.
- Post-injection flare: An estimated 1 in 50 people develop post-injection flare several hours after getting an injection. It causes joint swelling and pain that subsides in a few days.
Why Might I Need A Joint Aspiration
Joint aspiration may be done to diagnose and assist in the treatment ofjoint disorders and/or problems. By analyzing the fluid, the followingconditions may be diagnosed:
Various types of arthritis
Joint aspiration can also be done to remove a large collection of fluidaround a joint. Sometimes bursitis causes fluidto collect near a joint. Removing the fluid will decrease the pressure,relieve pain, and improve movement of the joint. Sometimes, a medicine isinjected following removal of the fluid to help treat tendonitis orbursitis.
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend ajoint aspiration.
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Otc Pain Relievers Nsaids And Topical Salicylates
Over-the-counter medications are also options. You can buy them virtually anywhere without needing a doctors prescription and come in various brands and types.
Per MedlinePlus, there are 2 main types of oral OTC pain relievers you can buy:
- Acetaminophen , and
Acetaminophen has no anti-inflammatory properties but it does help you manage the pain. Popular examples include Tylenol and Panadol.
NSAIDs, on the other hand, have anti-inflammatory properties as well as pain-relieving properties. Examples include Advil, Aleve, Celebrex, and several others.
Apart from oral medication, you could also get topical salicylates.
Topical salicylates are technically still considered NSAIDs, so they can also help reduce pain and swelling.
For those of you whose stomachs dont react well to oral NSAIDs, these topical alternatives may be the better option.
However, Harvard says that topical NSAIDs arent as effective as their oral counterparts because your body absorbs less of the medicine. So, you might not feel the same exact relief. Also, dont apply these on wounds or rashes.
Surgical And Other Procedures
Treating the underlying cause of a swollen knee might require:
- Arthrocentesis. Removing fluid from the knee can help relieve pressure on the joint. After aspirating joint fluid, your doctor might inject a corticosteroid into the joint to treat inflammation.
- Arthroscopy. A lighted tube is inserted through a small incision into your knee joint. Tools attached to the arthroscope can remove loose tissue or repair damage in your knee.
- Joint replacement. If bearing weight on your knee joint becomes intolerable, you might need knee replacement surgery.
Your doctor might also recommend physical therapy to improve your knee’s function and strength.
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Can Fluid On The Knee Get Worse
Yes. Its important to get a correct diagnosis of why your knee is swollen and follow proper treatment. A bacterial infection could spread and lead to permanent cartilage damage. If the problem is an internal tear, youre likely to have long-term, progressively more debilitating pain and loss of mobility if its not treated.
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What Is Viscosupplementation
Viscosupplementation is a type of joint injection that specifically treats osteoarthritis. Research on the effectiveness of this treatment shows mixed results. Some people have less pain and improved movement after treatment. But some people see no change.
Your healthcare provider injects hyaluronic acid into a joint . This substance occurs naturally in synovial fluid surrounding joints.
You get one to five injections over a few weeks. It can take several weeks for symptoms to improve. Viscosupplementation may relieve pain and improve mobility for about six months. You can get the treatment again.
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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
Fluid On The Knee Diagnosis
To determine the cause, your doctor may require an x-ray view to see if there is any broken or dislocated bone in your knee, or find out if the real culprit is irritation due to wear & tear. A magnetic resonance imaging test may also be needed to detect any abnormalities of the knee joint such ligament, tendons or cartilage tear.
Your doctor may also request for a blood test to determine if there is any evidence of infection or other possible cause.
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What Is Knee Aspiration
Knee aspiration is a procedure in which a sterile needle and syringe is used to drain the excess fluid accumulated in the knee joint. It is generally performed under local anesthesia. The drained fluid can be sent for synovial fluid analysis, which can help to detect various conditions causing knee swelling.Sometimes, drainage of sufficient amounts of excess fluid can also help in reducing the pain and swelling thus providing some relief. As a treatment modality, a procedure that enables injection of medicines into the joint after drainage of fluid may also be performed. Knee aspiration procedure is sometimes performed under the guidance of imaging studies.
What Causes Joint Pain
Joints are part of your skeletal system. They are the connection where two bones meet.
Cartilage tissue at the ends of bones helps them move and glide. Synovial fluid cushions and lubricates joints and cartilage. Joint pain, inflammation and swelling occur when something reduces the synovial fluid, cartilage or both.
Conditions that cause joint pain include:
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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.
When In Your Home
Some minor swelling of the knee due to an recent injury and/or a previously diagnosed condition may not require medical attention. You can do this yourself to self-diagnose:
This is the R.I.C.E Approach.
The particular action of the human gait places constant pressure on the knee joint, and this makes it highly vulnerable. Even the simple act of standing up from a sitting position will, over time, wear down the joint. Once this process begins to occur, patients start to experience debilitating pain which is often accompanied by a restriction in movement.
There are many known, probable causes for knee joint pain anything from acute injuries of the ligaments to complications of underlying medical conditions such as arthritis can be to blame. Common symptoms of injured knee joints are severe pain, limited range of motion, tenderness, weakness, and swelling of the surrounding tissues. For specific issues with knee joint pain after running.
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Natural Remedies For Knee Swelling
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
A swollen knee can occur when there is excess fluid that accumulates in or around the knee joint.
Many doctors will refer to this condition as knee effusion or water on the knee.
Removing some of the fluid will reduce the pain and stiffness associated with the swelling.
Apply Cold And Compression
Another RICE step that can help reduce fluid in your knee is applying cold compression. With this method, you can use ice cubes, a cold pack stored in the freezer, or a cold washcloth.
When using Ice, its not advisable to put it directly on the skin. Instead, put them in a towel or wrap them in a washcloth before placing them on your knee.
Depending on the method you use, you should apply the cold compression for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 4 hours. If you are wrapping your knee with a cold elastic bandage, be sure to loosen it to allow blood flow to the knee and the lower leg. If you notice numbness, warmth, or a tingling feeling, remove the bandage immediately.
Apply the cold compression for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 4 hours. Dont do it after three days of no improvement.
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