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What Causes Swollen Knee With Pain

Or Something Known As Pseudogout

What are the causes of swelling in knees? – Dr.Nagesh HS

Also known as “false gout” or calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease , psuedogout can also cause swelling of the knee joint. Like gout, pseudogout is also considered a form of arthritis. Unlike gout, it primarily affects the wrists and knees. In pseudogout, a form of calcium crystals accumulate in joint cartilage and fluid, causing the same sudden joint pain and swelling as gout.

Pseudogout typically affects people over the age of 60, according to The Cleveland Clinic. People who have osteoarthritis, thyroid or metabolic issues, or kidney disease are also more likely to experience it.

Other Inner Knee Pain Treatments

If your inner knee pain worsens after several days, or if basic at-home remedies dont alleviate symptoms, you should go see your doctor.

Some treatment methods for more serious knee injuries include:

  • Steroid injection. This injection is used to treat pes anserine bursitis.
  • Physical therapy. Therapy often involves stretching, exercises, and ultrasound therapy.

Fluid Outside The Knee Joint

The most common cause of excessive fluid in the soft tissue surrounding the knee is prepatellar bursitis. This is inflammation of a fluid-filled sac which cushions the kneecap . The buildup can be seen and felt at the top of the kneecap. It is not something you would see under the knee.

An injury such as a contusion may also cause localized swelling. In some cases, the buildup of blood and fluid may mimic an acute injury of the knee joint.

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What Are The Causes Of Knee Pain In Teenagers

Common knee pain problems in your teenager can be generally divided into three types:

  • Anterior knee pain, also called patellofemoral pain.
  • Injures to ligaments and tendons of the knee or to the kneecap itself.
  • Medical conditions that affect the knee.

Anterior knee pain happens when your teens kneecap is pulled out of its groove from increased pressure. Increased pressure on the knee joint is caused by:

  • Abnormal hip rotation due to imbalances in muscle strength and flexibility around the hips.
  • Improper training methods or equipment.
  • Poor flexibility of the thigh muscles, which support the knee joint. Thigh muscle weakness or tightness.
  • Overuse of the knee from repetitive bending of the knee during running, jumping, and other activities.
  • Problems with alignment, for example, the kneecap not being properly aligned within the knee or having flat feet, which changes the normal gait.

Knee pain resulting from sprains, strains and tears to ligaments and tendons or injuries to other soft tissues. These conditions include:

Medical conditions that can affect your teens knee include:

Surgical And Other Procedures

Swollen knee

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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Treating A Bakers Cyst

Treatment will not usually be necessary if you have a Bakers cyst that is not causing any symptoms.

Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to reduce the swelling and relieve any pain. Bandages or an ice pack may also help. A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel works well as an ice pack.

If you have an underlying condition thats causing your cyst, its important that the condition is properly managed. The cyst may disappear when the condition causing it has been treated.

In some cases, it may be possible to drain the cyst. Surgery may also be needed to repair any significant damage around the knee joint.

Page last reviewed: 11 June 2018 Next review due: 11 June 2021

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Can A Bulging Disc Cause Knee Pain

Because your lower spine carries a significant amount of weight and is constantly in motion, your spinal discs are vulnerable to injury and pain.

Injuries to your disc can cause the soft inner core to migrate from its normal position and push against the fibrous outer layers . Alternatively, the fibrous rings can be torn, allowing the soft material to leak out.

A disc is typically found close to the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots .

A Herniated disc can affect many nerve roots, including the sciatic nerve. Once the sciatic nerve is affected, knee pain is highly possible.

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How Is Knee Swelling Treated

Depending on the type and severity of your problem, treatments range from surgery to home remedies. Non-surgical remedies include:

  • RICE: an abbreviation for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, is best to do shortly after suffering an injury. RICE can be helpful for managing minor pain.
  • Compression: wrapping the knee not too tightly in an elastic bandage
  • Physical therapy: doing exercises to strengthen the knee and improve its stability
  • Wearing a brace on the knee
  • Taking over-the-counter pain-relief medication
  • If you are overweight, losing weight to reduce pressure on the knee

In some cases pain medication or a lubricating substance might be injected into the knee. Or a needle may be used to reduce swelling by removing excess fluid.

What Can You Do For The Pain

Prepatellar Bursitis (Anterior knee pain and swelling)

The things you can do for your knee pain will depend on your knee pain and injury.

Sharp pain and dull pain will need different treatment plans, and traumatic injuries will need different treatments than slow, gradual knee pain.

Here are a few things you can do to accelerate the healing process:

  • Rest your knee and take a few days off from intense activity.
  • Ice it to curb pain and swelling.
  • Compress your knee with an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to wrap the joint.
  • Elevate your knee with a pillow under your heel when youre sitting or lying down
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications. These drugs can have side effects, so dont use them long-term
  • Practice stretching and strengthening exercises recommended by your doctor.
  • Start physical therapy

Contact your doctor if you have tried home treatments for two weeks but still havent found relief.

If you get a fever along with your painful knee, go to the doctor right away.

Depending on the cause of your knee pain, you may need extra help from a doctor.

If you have bursitis, your doctor may need to draw out extra fluid from the bursa in your knee.

Or, if you have arthritis, you may need a corticosteroid shot to reduce inflammation.

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Rapid Knee Swelling After An Injury

A swollen knee that develops immediately after an injury, within minutes, is usually due to haemarthrosis, where blood accumulates in the joint. Essentially what happens is that a structure inside the knee gets damaged and starts to bleed, building up pressure in the joint.

Knee swelling after an injury is normally profuse and the knee balloons up. It will feel tense and very sore and is often accompanied by bruising, although that may take longer to develop.

There are three main injuries that cause a swollen knee from a haemarthrosis:

1. Ligament Tear:Where a knee ligament ruptures . This is the most common cause and usually involves the ACL . Other symptoms include instability and pain Learn More >

2. Meniscus Tear:A tear in the outer rim of the cartilage lining the knee. Associated symptoms include locking and pain on stairs and when squatting Learn More >

3. Bone Fracture: A break in one of the knee bones such as a patellar fracture. In most cases, it will be obvious if you have broken a bone Learn More >

A swollen knee caused by a haemarthrosis like these needs urgent medical attention.

Choose from the links or visit the Knee Injuries section to find out more about these common causes of knee swelling, including symptoms and treatment options.

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Muscle Tendon Injuries Mcl And Lcl Injuries Acl Injuries And Meniscus Tears

Muscle Tendon Injuries

Almost all of these strains are treated with ice, elevation, and rest. Sometimes compression with an Ace wrap or knee sleeve is recommended, and crutches may be used for a short time to assist with walking. Ibuprofen or naproxen can be used as an anti-inflammatory medication.

The mechanism of injury is either hyperextension, in which the hamstring muscles can be stretched or torn, or hyperflexion, in which the quadriceps muscle is injured. Uncommonly, with a hyperflexion injury, the patellar or quadriceps tendon can be damaged and rupture. This injury is characterized by the inability to extend or straighten the knee and a defect that can be felt either above or below the patella . Surgery is usually required to repair this injury.

Except for elite athletes, tears of the hamstring muscle are treated conservatively without an operation, allowing time, exercise, and perhaps physical therapy to return the muscle to normal function.

MCL and LCL Injuries

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Why Does The Knee Swell

A swollen knee is a common problem that affects people of all ages. Knee swelling typically indicates a problem somewhere inside the knee joint.

The knee has a joint capsule, which is like a sac that surrounds the whole joint. The capsule contains synovial fluid which nourishes and lubricates the joint so that it can move smoothly, think of it like the oil in your car. The joint capsule acts as container, keeping the fluid within the knee joint.

A swollen knee usually develops when excess fluid builds up inside the joint capsule and is caused by either:

  • Bleeding in the Joint: aka Haemarthrosis. This is normally caused by an injury and the knee swelling comes on rapidly . The swelling can be intense making the knee feel very tight.
  • Accumulation of Synovial Fluid: aka knee joint effusion or water on the knee. This type of swollen knee tends to come on gradually and may come and go, varying in degrees of severity.

Usually, knee swelling remains inside the knee joint as the joint capsule acts like a barrier, preventing the fluid from escaping. However, it can also occur outside the joint capsule, known as extra-articular swelling, such as with knee bursitis.

Knee Pain As A Symptom Of Lung Cancer

Swollen Knee

Both monoarthritis and polyarthritis have been identified as possible signs of lung cancer. Sometimes, these symptoms can be misdiagnosed.

The connection between knee pain and lung cancer can easily be missed because the rate of arthritis problems occurring with lung cancer is very low.

  • Arthritis symptoms due to a paraneoplastic syndrome occur in approximately 0.24% of lung cancer patients.
  • HPOA incidents among lung cancer patients range from 0.72% to 17%.
  • Researches have only reported 48 cases of synovial metastasis, and only a fraction of those incidents are related to knee pain.

If you have lung cancer, your knee pain is more likely to be related to other causes and is rarely a symptom of your lung cancer.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis , your knee pain is likely related to your arthritis. However, you should discuss your risk of lung cancer with your doctor. Those with RA are eight times more likely to develop interstitial lung disease, which puts you at risk for lung cancer.

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Treatment And Prevention Tips For Pain Behind The Knee

When you experience knee pain that doesnt go away within a day or two, you should seriously consider health care. Here are a few tips on protecting your knee in situations where you might have a minor knee injury or experience reoccurring knee problems.

  • Avoid activities that cause pain
  • Apply ice

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Medial Collateral Ligament Injury

The medial collateral ligament runs along the outside of your inner knee to stabilize the joint. If the ligament overstretches, you may have an MCL sprain.

The MCL can also tear partially or fully. An MCL injury most commonly occurs after force is applied to the outer knee, such as in contact sports.

Symptoms of an MCL injury include:

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Diagnosis And Treatment Of A Swollen Knee

When a person is experiencing a swollen knee, the doctor may either take a sample of the fluid inside the knee, or order X-rays or an MRI to confirm a diagnosis. If its a minor injury, the medical provider may recommend rest, icing, compression, and elevation of the knee .

Depending on the severity, the doctor may also recommend medication, steroid injections, or physical therapy. In extreme cases, a patient may require surgery.

Rare Causes Of A Swollen Knee

What is causing your knee pain or knee swelling? DIY physiotherapy at home.
  • Knee Cap Dislocation:The patella usually glides in a groove at the front of the knee but a forceful injury can push it out to the side, resulting in a mis-shapened, swollen knee. Learn More >
  • Patellar Tendonitis:Irritation of the patellar tendon can lead to mild swelling at the front of the knee. Learn More >
  • Tumour: There are various types of tumor that can cause knee swelling. They are often accompanied by fatigue, weight loss and a general feeling of being unwell.
  • DVT: A deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in one of the deep veins, most common in the calf or thigh. They are normally painful, hot and red and are most common after prolonged bed rest, surgery or air travel. A DVT is a medical emergency – if you suspect you may have one see your doctor immediately.
  • Spontaneous Haemarthrosis: Sudden bleeding into the joint in someone with a blood clotting problem or who is taking blood thinners e.g. warfarin.
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    For Ligament Cartilage And Joint Tears

    Ligament, cartilage and joint tears in your knee will need to be addressed by your doctor.

    After imaging diagnostics and a clinical assessment, your doctor will let you know if your treatment will include physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication, or if youll need to undergo surgery to repair the injury.

    Recovery from knee surgery can take some time. It may take anywhere from 6 months to a year to resume your normal activities.

    What Does A Knee Injury Feel Like

    Obviously, it hurts! But the type of pain and where you feel it can vary, depending on what the problem is. You may have:

    • Pain, usually when you bend or straighten the knee
    • Swelling
    • Trouble putting weight on the knee
    • Problems moving your knee
    • Knee buckling or âlockingâ

    If you have these symptoms, see your doctor. They will check your knee. You may also need X-rays or an MRI to see more detail of the joint.

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    Why Is The Back Of My Knee Swollen

    Various factors can lead to swelling behind the knees. The most common cause of back knee swelling is an abnormal growth or a build-up fluid in the popliteal space .

    This article highlights common reasons for a swollen knee, symptoms, causes and how to examine if its severe, and the best ways to treat them.

    Treatments For Swollen Knee

    Swollen Behind The Knee
    • Your treatment will depend on whats causing your swollen knee and how painful it is. Your doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment after diagnosing the underlying cause.

      In most cases, youll be advised to take painkillers. You can also apply ice and elevate your knee to help reduce the swelling. Sometimes removing some of the fluid in your knee helps reduce the pain and stiffness.

      Other treatments include:

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    How Can I Prevent Knee Pain

    Although you canât prevent all injuries, you can take these steps to make them less likely.

    • Stop exercising if you feel pain in your knee.
    • If you want to make your workout more intense, always do it gradually.
    • Stretch your legs before and after physical activity.
    • Use kneepads to prevent bursitis, especially if you have to kneel a lot.
    • Wear shoes that fit well and offer enough support.
    • Keep your thigh muscles strong with regular stretching and strengthening.
    • If youâre overweight, work to drop some pounds so thereâs less stress on all of your joints, including your knees.

    Types Of Knee Swelling

    Knee swelling usually develops in one of four ways:

  • Rapid Swelling After An Injury: knee swelling comes on immediately after an injury e.g
  • Delayed Swelling After An Injury: that appears a few hours after an injury
  • Gradual Swelling Without An Injury: that develops and often fluctuates without an injury
  • Rapid Swelling Without An Injury: that comes on very suddenly without an injury
  • Let’s have a look at the features of each and then we’ll look at the common causes.

    1. Rapid Knee Swelling After An Injury

    A swollen knee that develops immediately after an injury, within minutes, is usually due to haemarthrosis, where blood accumulates in the joint. Essentially what happens is that a structure inside the knee gets damaged and starts to bleed. The blood pools inside the capsule building up pressure in the joint.

    Knee swelling after an injury is normally profuse and the knee typically balloons very quickly. It will feel tense and very sore and is often accompanied by bruising, although that may take longer to develop. A sudden, swollen knee caused by a haemarthrosis needs urgent medical attention.

    2. Delayed Knee Swelling After An Injury

    If a swollen knee develops anything from a few hours to a few days after an injury, it is most likely due to an increase in the synovial fluid in the joint a knee effusion.

    3. Gradual Knee Swelling Without An Injury

    4. Rapid Knee Swelling Without An Injury

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