Other Causes Of A Swollen Knee
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. The most common types of swelling outside the joint capsule are:
1. Knee Bursitis:Bursa are small fluid filled sacs that sit between bones and soft tissues to reduce friction. If there is excessive friction on them, they get inflamed. You tend to get pockets of swelling rather than general swelling of the whole knee.
Swelling in front of the knee cap of usually caused by Pre-Patellar Bursitis, aka Housemaids Knee.Swelling behind the knee, often like a squashy orange, is usually due to Popliteal Bursitis, aka Bakers Cyst. Swelling on the inner side of the knee may be due to Pes Anserine Bursitis. Visit the Bursitissection to find out more, including treatment information.
2. Haematoma: Blunt trauma to the soft tissues around the knee can cause bleeding. The blood collects around the muscles and can build up into a hard lump. If there is only a small amount of bleeding it is usually referred to as a contusion/bruise.
Physical Therapy For Knee Injuries
The expert team at Armor Physical Therapy has years of combined experience in identifying and treating the underlying cause of knee stiffness and other symptoms. When you come to us, well perform a thorough assessment to identify the source of your knee stiffness. We can then work closely with you to develop a customized treatment plan designed to improve flexibility and range of motion in the knee, while promoting long-term health and injury prevention.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Contact us today to schedule your initial appointment.
What Is The Treatment For Knee Stiffness After Sitting
Treatment for knee stiffness after sitting depends on its underlying cause. Once the cause is addressed, there is relief from knee stiffness after sitting. Depending on the cause, some of the common treatments done for Knee Stiffness After Sitting are:
Medications: For immediate relief from pain and stiffness of the knee joint, pain medications such as NSAIDs or paracetamol can be prescribed.
Ice Pack and Warm Compresses: Application of ice pack and warm compresses to the knee joint gives relief from knee stiffness after sitting.
Supplements: Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine supplements benefit if the knee stiffness after sitting is due to osteoarthritis. These supplements help in growth and regeneration of the cartilage. Omega-3 supplements also help with knee joint health.
Fluid Drainage: If the knee stiffness after sitting is caused by excessive fluid, then treatment consists of draining the fluid after which the patient needs to rest and take the prescribed medications for the problem.
Surgery: If the knee stiffness after sitting does not improve with conservative treatment and there is worsening of the knee stiffness which impairs daily activities, then surgery is done for a total knee replacement or for realigning the knee cap to resolve the problem.
Also Check: How To Pop Your Knee Joint
Knee Stiffness After Sitting Caused By Chondromalacia Patellae:
Chondromalacia patella is a medical condition where there is damage to the cartilage present just below the kneecap. As the patient moves, the kneecap does not sit in its proper position and rubs against the cartilage causing inflammation, pain and damage of the knee joint and also resulting in knee stiffness. There are some individuals who are at an increased risk for developing chondromalacia patellae and these people include soccer players, runners, jumpers etc. People who have suffered from trauma or accident which causes damage to their kneecap have an increased likelihood for developing chondromalacia patellae.
Not To Be Missed If You Have Pain Behind The Knee Or Back Of The Leg
- It is very important to note that pain at the back of your knee may be referred pain from your lower back. This referred pain would most likely be a poorly localized, dull ache, not related to knee movements, but aggravated by movements in your lower back So do be aware of that possibility
- Deep Vein Thrombosis may occur following surgery, a period of immobilization such as a long flight or time spent on extended bed rest, following an injury, in woman taking estrogen, or in obese patients. It may present as pain in the calf, or in the back of the knee. There may be some mild swelling, tenderness or skin discoloration. If you are worried you may have a DVT, speak to your doctor to arrange for further investigations such as a Doppler ultrasound.
You May Like: Why Does My Knee Hurt When It’s Cold
Sol Physical Therapy Can Help Treat Knees That Are Stiff And Painful When Bent
Do you feel stiffness or pain when bending your knee? Our SOL Physical Therapy team in Oakland, California, can help. Our clinic offers free screenings that can make it easier for you to begin your treatment. We also provide each patient with an individualized treatment plan, and the plan we build for you could draw benefits from therapy methods like:
What Is Wear And Tear Arthritis
How can you tell if you have osteoarthritis?
If you have pain inside your knee, under your kneecap,especially when kneeling, squatting or going up and down steps, its usuallywear-and-tear arthritis, says Dr. Nickodem.
Cartilage, the cushioning betweenbones, deteriorates throughout life. It can erode more quickly in some peopledue to injury or genetics. As cartilage thins, your bones begin to rubtogether, causing pain, swelling and stiffness.
Sometimes the level of pain does notalways correlate to the severity of the condition.
Don’t Miss: Can I Have Both Knees Replaced At The Same Time
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.
Expected Range Of Motion
After knee replacement surgery, it is important to work with a physical therapist to achieve the maximal range of motion. Typically, the range of motion will progress quickly during the first three months and can continue to increase for up to two years following surgery.
Normal motion after knee replacement is defined as the ability to get within 5 degrees of a straight knee and the ability to bend the knee back to 90 degrees. Most knee replacements have movement ranging from 0 degrees to 110 degrees or more.
The optimal motion of the replaced knee can be achieved with a combination of stretches, exercises, and gradual resumption of normal activities. Some surgeons will recommend the use of a machine to bend the knee, called a CPM, .
Recommended Reading: How To Whiten Knees And Elbows
Muscles Weak And Strong
Maintaining flexible muscles around your knee that are strong enough to support your body may help to alleviate or prevent tightness in the knee area. Strong legs, hips, and buttocks are thought to reduce knee tightness.
Research surrounding the benefits of strong leg muscles in relation to knee tightness varies. According to a 2010 study that looked at over 2,000 knees of men and women who had or were at risk for osteoarthritis, neither hamstring nor quadriceps strength predicted frequent knee symptoms such as pain, aching, and stiffness.
Still, having strong quadriceps may help to reduce the risk of knee problems, since stronger muscles can help to support the knee joint.
A 2014 study that was conducted over five years with 2,404 participants who also had or were at risk for osteoarthritis, found that weak quadriceps were associated with an increased risk of worsening knee pain in women but not in men. Researchers acknowledged that their longer study built on similar studies of shorter duration , and smaller group sizes, to support the link between leg muscle strength and knee pain. Their study suggests there may also be sex-specific differences in risk factors for worsening knee pain.
Persistent Knee Pain After Arthroscopy
Persistent Knee Pain after Arthroscopy
So youve had knee arthroscopy but your knee still hurts. This is something I frequently see in my office especially for second opinions. The usual scenario is one where a patient had arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus. The surgery went well but the patient still has pain even though its now 2-3 months later. These patients are usually quite frustrated because they were under the impression that they would bounce back fast after their simple surgery. Adding insult to injury is the fact that almost every patient has had a neighbor or co worker who had the same surgery and who was back doing everything in 2 weeks.
In order to really understand what is happening I need information. I spend a lot of time trying to understand the current symptoms but I also ask about the symptoms before the surgery. It is also extremely helpful when a patient brings in their Op report, Pre-operative MRI and surgical pictures. Patients can usually borrow the surgical photographs or perhaps even get their own copy. These pictures allow me to see the state of the articular cartilage and the severity of the treated meniscus tear.
I like to see recent X-rays. I usually take standing weight bearing views of both knees, Lateral and Patellofemoral Sunrise view. These X-ray films are very important because they tell you information that the MRI does not.
In most cases a good ear to listen and the tip of my finger are the best diagnostic tools.
Read Also: Nano Knee Procedure
Exercises For Stiff Knee
These exercises can be useful for improving your stiff knee.
Straight Leg Lifts: This exercise helps strengthen the muscles which support the knee. To perform this exercise, lay flat on the ground on your back and lift one leg upward as straight as possible and as high as you can go. Hold this pose for about 10 seconds, slowly return the leg down, and repeat with the other leg. Repeat this move ten times each leg.
Half Squat: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly begin to bend your knees to lower yourself down, as if you were to sit in a chair. Only bend as much as you can while being comfortable if you experience pain you have gone too far. Once down, return slowly back up. Repeat this half-squat motion as much as you can.
Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the floor, upright nice and tall. Straighten your legs out in front and relax your feet. Place your palms down by your side and hold essentially your body should be in the letter L position. You should feel a gentle pull on your hamstrings.
When To See Your Doctor
Its important that you see a doctor when seeking treatment. A doctor can determine the cause of your knee tightness, and together you can develop a treatment plan to resolve your condition. You may have a physical exam, imaging tests, or lab tests.
You may be referred to a doctor specializing in physical therapy or musculoskeletal and joint problems, or a rheumatologist. If you need surgery, youll be referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if you dont already have a doctor.
When youre doing knee stretches and exercises its important that you follow a few guidelines in order to get the maximum benefits. Here are a few tips:
Recommended Reading: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
Knee Stiffness After Sitting Caused By Excess Synovial Fluid:
Synovial fluid is present in all the joints of the body and its function is lubricating the cartilage and reducing friction and providing resiliency against damage. If there is insufficient amount of synovial fluid present, then it causes unnecessary stress or wear and tear on the knee joint which leads to knee stiffness and restriction of movement.
If there is excessive synovial fluid present due to some imbalances or if inflammation is causing accumulation of synovial fluid, then it also causes knee stiffness after sitting and swelling in the knee. Some of the causes of excessive synovial fluid include arthritis, gout, injury and infection.
What Is A Stiff Knee
A stiff knee occurs when you have difficulty moving the knee joint due to injury to or inflammation of the joint. Anything that leads to restricted movement of the knee joint may be considered to cause stiffness of the knee.
Four ligaments are important in maintaining the stability and function of the knee joint, the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. The menisci are two pieces of cartilage that permit the bones of the knee joint to move smoothly against one another. Injuries to these structures may restrict movement of the knee joint.
Other traumatic causes of stiff knee include fractures of bone, inflammation of tendons or bursae, or damage to the cartilage of the kneecap. Injuries may be sudden or may develop slowly over time.
The different forms of are the most common chronic diseases to affect the knee. results from wear and tear on the joint, while arises from a dysfunction of the bodys immune system. Rarely, tumors and infections of the knee joint and surrounding areas may produce a stiff knee.
A can require emergency care, and a sprain may be accompanied by more serious injuries to the joint. Seek immediate medical care for serious symptoms, such as paralysis, loss of sensation, absent pulses in the feet, complete inability to move the knee joint, high , severe bleeding, or uncontrollable pain.
If your stiff knee is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.
Don’t Miss: Why Do My Knees Crack When I Squat
Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- your knee is very painful
- you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
- your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
- you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee this can be a sign of infection
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
You can also go to an urgent treatment centre if you need to see someone now.
They’re also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.
You may be seen quicker than you would at A& E.
Can You Prevent Knee Problems
Not all knee problems are avoidable, but you can lessen your chance of problems by participating in regular strength training. To protect your knees, it’s important to have a very strong core and strong legs, says Dr. Rebecca Breslow, an instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. Make an effort to perform strength training at least twice a week. In addition, work on increasing joint flexibility, which can also help you head off an injury.
Read Also: Knee Pain When Lying Down
Treatment Tips For Knee Stiffness
Depending on the cause of your knee stiffness, your treatment will vary. The following will all most likely be implemented in some way.
PRICE: For early symptoms of knee stiffness, the PRICE principals can help speed up recovery.
- Protect the joint from further damage with the use of a brace or padding.
- Rest from aggravating activities that may worsen the .
- Ice on the affected joint can reduce swelling and knee stiffness.
- Compression bandages may help support the injured or damaged knee.
- Elevation of the leg helps excess fluid in the joint drain away.
Avoid prolonged postures: Stiffness as result of sitting for long stretches of time should be avoided by periodically doing some joint movements. Gently bending the knee backward and forwards or getting up to move around helps lubricate the knee and can prevent knee stiffness from settling in.
Supplements: Many supplements claims to reduce the symptoms of knee stiffness. It is important to do your research on these products to see if they are right for you. Speaking to your doctor may also shed more light on the topic.
When To Call Your Doctor
If your pain and swelling are gettingworse and you can no longer put weight on your knee, see your doctor. A simpleX-ray can show if there is osteoarthritis and, if needed, an MRI scan can checkfor meniscal tears or loose chips of cartilage.
Arthroscopic surgery can sometimes remove loose cartilage. Partial or total knee replacements are other surgical options, especially for those who can no longer stay as active as theyd like. Sometimes computer assistance is used for some complicated knee replacements.
Surgery is a last resort, though,says Dr. Nickodem. Its something to consider when nonoperative treatmentsarent helping.
Also Check: Inversion Table Knee Pain
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:
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.