Rare Causes Of A Swollen Knee
1.;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 misshapened, swollen knee.
2.;Patellar Tendonitis:Irritation of the patellar tendon can lead to mild swelling at the front of the knee.
3. Tumour:There are various types of tumour that can cause knee swelling. They are often accompanied by fatigue, weight loss and a general feeling of being unwell.
4. DVT:;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.
5. Spontaneous Haemarthrosis:;Sudden bleeding into the joint in someone with a blood clotting problem or who is taking blood thinners e.g. warfarin.
What If I Need Surgery On My Swollen Knee
Depending on your situation, surgery can range from arthroscopic surgery to replacing the knee joint with an artificial one.
Arthroscopic surgery uses a tiny camera that is part of an instrument called an arthroscope. It can be used as a tool for diagnosis as well as for treatment, and is usually an outpatient procedure . Depending on the type of surgery, physician therapy is often recommended afterward to restore mobility and strength in your knee.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/03/2018.
Or You May Have A Bakers Cyst
Also known as popliteal or synovial cysts, Bakers cysts are fluid-filled lumps that develop on the back of the knee. According to Dr. Gladstone, theyre pretty common and nothing to be too alarmed about.
Deep within the knee joint, theres a layer of thin tissue called the capsule between your bones, Dr. Gladstone explains. When some sort of damage causes swelling within the knee joint, the pressure pushes extra fluid in the capsule out behind the knee joint, essentially creating a what looks like a swollen ball at the back of the knee.
Not typically too painful, Bakers cysts are often caused by arthritis or an acute injury within the knee. In some cases, they disappear on their own, but often reoccur if you dont treat the underlying cause.
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How Long Does It Take For Knee Swelling To Go Down
Knee swelling should not last for more than a few days. For moderate knee swelling using the R.I.C.E method usually causes the swelling to reduce in 1 to 3 days on average. If the swelling does not go down in this time then it is recommended that you visit your doctor as the injury could be severe and require medical attention.
Youre Dealing With An Injury
Whether you took a tumble during your workout or just walked smack into the coffee table, swelling is a normal reaction to injuriesincluding those around your knees. In fact, injuries are the most common reason for swollen knees that James Gladstone, MD, chief of sports medicine at The Mount Sinai Health System, sees in younger, healthy patients.
Injuries signal an inflammatory response in the body, which causes swelling, Dr. Gladstone explains. Immediately post-injury, blood flow to the injured area increases, delivering the rush of fluids, proteins, and white blood cells needed to start the healing process. As a result, the injured area becomes red and swollen.
Two common knee injuries: a torn ACL and a torn meniscus .
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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.
This happens when something inside the knee is damaged slightly causing irritation and a resultant increase in synovial fluid. The amount of swelling varies but it tends not to be as much as with a haemarthrosis and the swollen knee doesnt usually feel tense.
The most common causes of a knee joint effusion are:
1.;Meniscus Irritation:;Compression or a small tear in the outer part of the cartilage lining the joint – the inner part of the meniscus has a poor blood supply so doesnt tend to bleed much when damaged.
2.;Knee Sprain:Where one of the knee ligaments is overstretched, damaging a few fibres, but the ligament remains intact.
The amount of knee swelling may vary day to day and it may feel like it comes and goes as the injury is healing. It usually takes 6-12 weeks for soft tissues to heal, but cartilage injuries can take longer, as the cartilage has a very poor blood supply.
Visit the;Knee Injuries;section to find out more about these common causes of fluid on the knee, including symptoms and treatment options.
Treatment For A Twisted Knee
Immediate treatment for a twisted knee follows PRICE principles.;Further treatment will depend on what injury has resulted from your twisted knee you can find out more about the best treatments for specific injuries using the links above.
Protect: Protect the knee from further damage.; This may involve wearing a knee splint to immobilise the knee and/or crutches to take the weight off the knee
Rest:Avoid any aggravating activities to allow the knee to recover
Ice: Regularly applying ice for 10-15 minutes every couple of hours helps to reduce swelling and pain.; There are a number of different ways to apply ice, but it must be done safely and effectively to avoid creating more problems visit the ice therapy section for more information
Compression:Compression bandaging or tubigrip helps to support the knee and reduce swelling
Elevation: Keeping the knee elevated, ideally above the level of the heart, helps to reduce swelling
If you have twisted your knee and are suffering from pain and/or swelling, follow these principles and get checked out by your doctor.;
Early diagnosis of ligament and cartilage tears is vital to reduce to risk of ongoing problems, so do see your doctor as soon as possible after a twisted knee
If none of these meniscus or knee ligament injuries is seeming quite like your problem, visit the knee pain diagnosis section for help working out what is causing the pain.
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You Cant Straighten Your Knee Or Leg
If you have trouble straightening your leg or it hurts to do so, you probably have a serious knee injury.
To test this, start in a seated position and try to lift your lower leg using your own leg muscles. You may still be able to bear weight and walk slowly and carefully without assistance, but will probably require assistance to lift your lower leg and fully extend your injured knee, says Dr. Brown.
Patella fractures, quadriceps tendon tears, and patellar tendon tears all tend to be associated with an inability to straighten the leg.
Use a knee immobilizer to hold the knee in a straight position and help with pain relief. This also makes it easier to move about until your appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, he adds.
Another test is to lie down and try to straighten your leg. The goal is to get your knee to lie flat. This might be difficult or impossible to do due to the pain, but what you should watch out for is a total inability to straighten your knee.
Some of the problems that could cause a locked knee include meniscus tears or a torn ACL. The key is to determine whether you cant straighten your knee due to sheer pain or physical blockage. If you feel blocked, then we recommend getting in touch with a doctor sooner rather than later.
On the flip side, you might have trouble bending your knee. If your knee feels stuck in any way, and the feeling doesnt go away within a few hours, you could be experiencing something more severe.
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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Or Something Known As Pseudogout
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.
Tips To Improve Your Swollen Knee
Knee swelling is a major concern for athletes young and old. ;Understanding their swollen knee is an important step to decreasing their pain and regaining their ability to be active & healthy.
When it comes to knee swelling and pain, many view it as the chicken or the egg dilemma: Is my knee pain creating the swelling in my knee or is the swelling the source of my knee pain?
Thats a great question and Ill show you a whole new way of looking at your knees to help you quickly answer that question. ;Understanding the swelling in your knee is the first step in taking control of your knees.
Its time for you to stop handing over the responsibility for keeping your knees happy to your doctor, your personal trainer and/or your insurance company. ;Those hinges halfway down your legs are YOUR knees. ;Let me show you simple tips to determine the source of your knee swelling and what to do about reducing your knee pain.
It bothers me when I hear individuals say things such as;
I have a swollen knee and no one can tell me why!
I cant run any more because I have a bad knee.
My doctor told me to stop running because I have arthritis. ;Now Ive put on 20 lbs and my swollen knee pain is killing me!
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You Felt Or Heard A Pop
Sometimes, a popping sound after a movement can indicate something is out of place.
Oftentimes this type of sound upon injury is indicative of a ligamentous injury, says Schwabe. Not all ligamentous injuries are full tears, though, and not all require surgery.
However, if you also experience excessive swelling and instability, get it checked out by an M.D. If you only have a mild sprain then you will be able to rehab it with physical therapy, he says.
The pop is what you hear as a result of a ligament tear, a meniscus tear, strained tendons, or a dislocated kneecap. Usually what happens is youll simultaneously hear and feel the pop.
If youre not familiar with the meniscus, its the cartilage in the knee that functions as a shock absorber. Each knee has two menisci, and theyre shaped like horseshoes. The medial meniscus is on the inside of the knee, and the lateral meniscus is on the outside.
The popping sensation can be difficult to explain, but youll certainly know it when it happens to you. Though the sound originates in the knee, youll hear it as though it was directly in your ear. Its as if the sensation travels up your body, and when it gets to your brain, it becomes audible.
If the pain is severe, youll want to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Surgery is often the recommended course of action, but physical therapy and other non-invasive remedies may be prescribed as alternatives.
What Causes Knee Swelling
Basically, a swollen knee is a symptom of excess fluid in or around your knee joint. Doctors typically refer to this as effusion in your knee joint.
You may also hear the term water on the knee used to describe the fluid build-up. This can be caused by many different things including trauma, overuse injuries, as well as underlying diseases or conditions that you may have.
To determine the cause of the swelling in the knee the doctor may opt to take a fluid sample for testing.
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Orthopedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine Specialists Located In Greater New Orleans Metairie La & Chalmette La
Have you noticed that your knee’s swollen? Is it causing you pain? If so, then it’s time to take a closer look at what could be wrong. A swollen knee indicates an underlying problem that needs to be addressed, and for patients in Metairie, Louisiana, the surgeons at Crescent City Orthopedics can help get to the bottom of the problem.
Joint Or Bursal Aspiration
When a patient has a swollen knee, a doctor may want to verify or rule out certain diagnoses by analyzing the accumulated fluid. To do this, the doctor will remove fluid from the affected knee joint capsule or bursa using a needle and syringe. When performed on a joint capsule, this process is called joint aspiration or arthrocentesis. When performed on a bursa, this process is called bursal aspiration.
The doctor will take note of the aspirated fluid’s color and viscosity and may send it to a lab for further analysis. Determining the contents of the fluid can lead to an accurate diagnosis. For example, uric acid crystals in the joint fluid indicate gout, and bacteria in the fluid indicate infection.
See The Joint Aspiration Procedure
Aspiration and examination of the fluid are important diagnostic steps because the underlying cause of knee swelling will determine the appropriate medical treatment.
Aspirated fluids are not always sent to a lab for analysis. If a diagnosis is already known, a physician may perform an aspiration to improve joint function and patient comfort.
See Diagnosis through Synovial Fluid Analysis
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Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two common types of arthritis that can lead to knee tightness. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in the knee to erode, leading to malalignment. Rheumatoid arthritis causes damage to the lining of the joints, which leads to inflammation. Both types of arthritis can lead to limited function and range of motion, deformity, and tightness.
Exercises that strengthen the surrounding muscle groups may help your range of motion and knee stability.
What Causes A Knee To Swell
Swelling occurs when fluid builds up around the knee joint. Several factors can cause swelling, including:
- Sports injury
- Underlying disease or disorder, like arthritis
- Overuse injury
- Infection of the tissue in the knee
To pinpoint the cause of your swelling, you’ll want to talk to a doctor as soon as you notice a problem.
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Other Causes Of Knee Swelling
Go to a doctor if the swelling appeared out of nowhere. It could be a symptom of a health problem like:
- Knee osteoarthritis, an overuse injury of the knee joint cartilage.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder characterized by swelling of the joints.
- Deep vein thrombosis, a medical emergency where a blood clot forms within the deep veins of the leg.
When Should You See A Doctor For Swollen Knees
In most cases with a swollen knee, minimal to moderate knee swelling can be taken care of at home. ;What does it mean if my knee is swollen? The quick answer is the following cases are reasons to contact doctor:
- The knee is unable to full bend or straighten.
- The knee has a pronounced abnormality or is severely swollen.
- There is extreme pain in the knee.
- The patient is unable to walk on the knee and it feels like it is going to give out.
- The area is red and hot.
- The patient has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher.
- The knee has been swollen for 3 days or more.
If you want to learn more about knee pain, go to: ;
If one is uncertain about whether the swelling is serious or not, calling a doctor is a good decision to avoid future damage and resolve an issue within the joint. Hopefully, this article has given you some reasons for “what does it mean if my knee is swollen?”. ;If the swelling does not go away for an extended period of time, it is probably time to see a JOI Orthopedic Knee Specialist.
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