Treatment For Fluid In Knees
As with any injury, it’s important to consult your doctor for the appropriate treatment for your situation. Here are some treatments and pain management options you may expect for fluid on the knee:
Aspiration – Your doctor may drain the knee to relieve the pressure of the knee fluid. If blood is present, then it is often sent to the lab to analyze the fluid to ensure that infection is not present. The knee may continue to fill with fluid after being aspirated.
PRICE Method – If knee trauma or injury is the cause of the knee fluid, then your doctor may recommend that you use the PRICE method of Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The combination of these is often used as first aid treatment to minimize fluid in the knee after a traumatic injury.
Medications – There are different types of medications that may be used to treat the excess of knee fluid, depending on the cause of the issue. For example:
- Over-the-counter medications – Pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin may be used to help reduce inflammation
- Steroids – These may be taken orally or injected directly into the knee joint. This may be used if over-the-counter medications are not effective at reducing pain.
- Antibiotics – If your knee fluid is caused by infection, then antibiotics may be necessary to fight the bacteria
What Kind Of Complications May Occur After Surgery
Although complications are rare and the surgery is considered low-risk, the following list are possible complications of having meniscus surgery.
- Damage to skin nerves
How to prevent, reduce or minimize knee swelling?
Many people are familiar with the acronym RICE: signifying rest, ice, compression and elevation to help reduce and minimize swelling. This is also helpful to remember when thinking of preventing excessive knee swelling after meniscus surgery.
After surgery the knee is typically wrapped with a bandagethis is to both protect the knee but also serves to help reduce and prevent excessive swelling. If you have knee swelling further out in the recovery period consider asking your physician about using a wrap at home to gently compress the area.
Ice is often used to reduce swelling and pain after knee meniscus repair. When icing the affected area it is important to remember to keep a cloth of some sort between the ice pack and the skin and not to ice for more than 20-30 minutes at a time.
Resting and elevating the knee above the level of the heart with a few pillows can help to increase circulation which helps to prevent, reduce and minimize swelling. Lay with your back flat on a bed or couch and elevate the foot/lower leg with a few pillows until the knee is above the level of your heart.
A good way to also provide rest to your healing knee and meniscus is to follow your doctors recommendations on weight bearing restrictions.
What Is Knee Swelling
Swelling of the knee can be caused by injuries to the joint as well as many different medical conditions. Depending upon the cause, knee swelling may be painful or may not produce any other symptoms. In some cases, you may notice tenderness, warmth, difficulties with moving your knee joint, muscle , or bleeding or bruising. Injuries to your knee, including sprains , can lead to diffuse swelling of the knee area.
Other possible causes of knee swelling include abscesses tumors of the skin, soft tissue, or bones bleeding or deformity of the joint accompanying fracture of any of the bones of the knee joint.
Swelling of the knee may be associated with injury and may be accompanied by more-serious injuries to the joint. Seek immediate medical care for serious symptoms, such as paralysis or inability to move a body part, loss of sensation, absent pulses in the feet, uncontrolled or heavy bleeding, or uncontrollable .
If your knee swelling persists or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.
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Solutions To Knee Pain And Swelling From Joint Replacement Surgery
Once the patient understands the mechanical reasons for why pain and swelling continue to linger eight weeks after the operation, that individual will psychologically be better able to tolerate the pain and the visibility of the edema.
They will no longer fear that something went wrong or that the surgeon left something in there.
Quite frankly, the knee pain following a joint replacement can be brutal. Some patients have described it as the worst pain to have.
Additionally, every patient is different with regard to their tolerance for pain, says Dr. Bergin.
While one patient might take pain pills for about a week after their surgery, another patient might need them for longer.
Each physician must make a decision with regard to their patients experience of pain, based on their knowledge of that patient.
Dr. Berginis a general orthopedist, surgically and conservatively treating all manner of bone and joint conditions. She enjoys educating patients so they can emerge stronger than they were before their orthopedic injury or surgery.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
Why Nothing Is Helping You
There may be two reasons that you are reading this article. You did a casual search to see what you can do for your recent knee swelling event, perhaps you worked the long shift in the warehouse, decided to play 27 holes instead of 18, or did something to aggravated your knee beyond normal every day function. Then you may have landed here because your knee swelling has been going on for years and you have tried everything.
Lets see some stories from the emails we get from people who have tried everything.
I want to return to activities without pain and swelling and tightness and sleeping without pain.
Here is a story, probably sounds like many of yours: I want to return to activities without pain and swelling and tightness and sleeping without pain. My right knee has been causing me pain for last five years. It all started with some minor sprains and tears. First was to MCL, then the meniscus had a small tear. I had an MRI and X-rays and surgeon recommended I get a cortisone shot before considering arthroscopic surgery. The surgery is to clean up some debris.
The cortisone injection did not help. I was prescribed physical therapy which made my knee worse. I was not sleeping so I scheduled the surgery. I am waiting for the surgery now.
The Bakers cyst
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You Had Your Knee Replacement Surgery Eight Weeks Ago Yet The Knee Is Still Pretty Swollen And Hurts How Normal Or Abnormal Is This
I would find it unusual if the knee was NOT swollen eight weeks out, and, in fact, most knees stay swollen for months, says Barbara Bergin, MD, board certified orthopedic surgeon at and co-founder of Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates.
Many patients note that the knee does not achieve a state of normalcy for nine months to a year!
The knee is a very superficial joint. You can see its shape between the femur and the tibia, where you cannot see the shape of your hip because it is buried deep within the muscles of the thigh.
The knee does not have much collateral circulation, and it simply takes a long time for the post-operative edema to dissipate.
The venous and lymphatic channels have to be re-established following the trauma of the surgery.
This is a slow process. The hip has more soft tissue and collateral circulation around it, and it is higher up in the body, closer to the large blood vessels which drain the lower extremities.
The skin around a knee is tight, where it is not as tight around the hip.
Bursitis Could Be To Blame
Often confused with arthritis, bursitis is another condition that can cause swollen knees. Bursitis is a reaction in which sacks of fluids, blood vessels, and nerve endings that cushion your jointscalled bursaebecome inflamed, explains Dr. Gladstone. Typically, bursitis occurs across the front of the knees as a result of excess pressure and friction on the joint over time.
Those little blood vessels bleed and the bursa produces excess fluid, which creates this giant, swollen pouchlike a bubble of fluid just below the skin, Dr. Gladstone says. These inflamed pouches, which can take on all sorts of shapes and sizes, can be incredibly painful to put pressure on.
Bursitis is most common in people who work a lot on their knees, like carpenters, plumbers, and tile-setters, says Dr. Gladstone. However, a good fall can cause bursitis, too.
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Acute Onset Without Injury
Rapid onset of swelling with no injury is abroad category wherein the accumulation of fluid is not due to an injury or a chronic condition, such as:
- Infection can result in joint fluid accumulation, often as a result of surgery, a knee wound, or systemic infection that spreads to the joint. Treatment can be a problem as the body has a tough time clearing infection from this space. Surgery may be required to fully clean out a .
- Gout and pseudogout involve a buildup of crystals in the knee fluid. With gout, the uric acid used to transport waste can accumulate and crystallize in various joints of the body, causing intense swelling and pain. With pseudogout, the culprit is calcium crystals.
What Are We Seeing In This Illustration
This illustration demonstrates the progression of knee osteoarthritis from a small tear or injury to degenerative joint disease. In this example a simple ligament injury, such as the medial collateral ligament depicted here) is not resolved, the resulting joint instability that this small injury can cause is the complete breakdown of the knee joint. As we are demonstrating in this article, a small unrepaired injury can spontaneously lead to osteoarthritis through swelling and inflammation.
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Why Is Your Knee Always Swollen
The simple answer to why is your knee is always swollen is because it is in a constant state of injury. Your immune system is constantly sending fluids to help cushion your knee and repair damaged tissue and remove dead tissue. The problem is, thhe knee is beyond its ability to repair the damage in your knee and the fluids remain constant.
So then, why is your knee always swollen?
- You have swelling because your knee lives in a toxic, inflammatory environment and that toxic inflammation runs deeper than conservative anti-inflammatory care can handle.
- The swelling is a toxic soup. It bathes your knee in a constant inflammation that causes knee breakdown.
- As your knee is in a corrosive state where it is breaking down faster than your body can repair it you get caught in a cycle breaking down causing swelling, swelling causing breakdown.
- The inflammatory process is corrosive. This is why there is an urgency to shut down the inflammation to stop knee destruction.
Knee Swelling After Meniscus Surgery
Many people may experience swelling around the knee as a result of their meniscus surgery. While this can be concerning, swelling can also be a normal part of the healing process. It is important to understand swelling, how to reduce swelling and when to recognize if it is problematic after meniscus repair surgery.
People in need of knee meniscus surgery are likely people who have a torn or ruptured meniscus. This article serves to provide information on torn meniscus, meniscus surgery and knee swellinga common complaint after knee meniscus surgery.
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Use Your Knee Brace And Crutches
If youve been fitted for a knee brace or had one recommended to you, make sure it fits properly. You should be able to insert two fingers under the strap. If its difficult to fit two fingers or if you can fit a third finger, youll need to adjust the tightness. Usually youll wear the brace for two to six weeks.
Use crutches if theyve been given and avoid putting any pressure on your knee until your doctor says its okay. Wait at least two weeks or until your doctor gives you the go-ahead before you bathe, swim, or use a hot tub. Follow a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids. Eat high-fiber foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure you have regular bowel movements. This will help while you may not have the benefit of moving around as much as usual.
Its A Symptom Of Lyme Disease
The often-mysterious Lyme diseasea bacterial infection transmitted to humans through a tick bitecan affect the joints over time if left untreated. Any time I see someone with knee swelling that doesnt make sense for any other reason, I consider Lyme, says Dr. Gladstone.
Any time I see someone with knee swelling that doesnt make sense, I consider Lyme.
We dont fully understand how Lyme works, but it can manifest in many different ways, including joint swelling, he explains. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the knees are particularly susceptible to severe Lyme-related arthritis, pain, and swelling.
Its worth noting, though, that these symptoms show up as the disease advances . Earlier signs of Lyme disease include the telltale bullseye-shaped rash and flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, headaches, muscle pain, and neck stiffness. Given Lymes murky mechanisms, treatment is relatively straightforward and involves a course of antibiotics to wipe the bacteria out of the body.
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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.
Complications Of A Swollen Knee
You may develop a Baker’s cyst. This is when joint fluid leaks out into the back of the knee and causes pain and swelling. Treatment usually involves compression and applying ice packs. However, if your swelling is severe, you may need to have the fluid removed using a fine needle.
You may lose muscle mass, especially in your thigh muscles. This is because fluid in your swollen knee can prevent your thigh muscles from working properly over time this causes them to weaken and deteriorate.
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Getting A Diagnosis For Swollen Knee
Chronic swelling can cause permanent damage to the joint tissue, cartilage and bone. It is therefore important to ask your doctor for advice if your swelling doesnt go down.
They’ll discuss your symptoms and carry out a physical examination.
They may arrange for you to have some tests. These may include an:
They may also arrange for you to have joint aspiration. This is when a fine needle is inserted into the swollen area to check for blood, bacteria or crystals
Locking And Giving Way
Symptoms of locking may occur immediately after injury or more commonly, after the initial acute, severe phase of injury has resolved. These symptoms are suggestive of a mechanical block, usually to extension in the knee.
Causes of mechanical block include:
A torn piece of meniscus caught between the femoral and tibial condyles
Chondral or osteochondral fragments
Occasionally, a torn anterior cruciate ligament with tissue blocking extension.
Giving way can be caused by the mechanical block as above, or instability from ligamentous pathology. Sportsmen often describe instability as the inability to trust their knee, especially when turning at pace. One further cause of locking or giving way is a perceived mechanical phenomenon due to patellofemoral pathology, either patellofemoral chondral wear, degeneration or mal-tracking. While this is not a true mechanical locking the patient perceives the sensation of locking, particularly after rising from a seated position after a long period or when squatting.
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.