Thursday, January 26, 2023
HomeHealthWhy Is My Knee Swollen And Stiff

Why Is My Knee Swollen And Stiff

Knee Injury: 6 Things To Do For The Pain

Why is my knee still stiff and mobility limited 8 weeks after meniscus surgery?

Your plan will depend on your specific injury. Mild to moderate issues will often get better on their own. To speed the healing, you can:

  • Rest your knee. Take a few days off from intense activity.
  • Ice it to curb pain and swelling. Do it for 15 to 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. Keep doing it for 2 to 3 days or until the pain is gone.
  • Compress your knee. Use an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to wrap the joint. It will keep down swelling or add support.
  • Elevate your knee with a pillow under your heel when you’re sitting or lying down to cut down on swelling.
  • Take anti-inflammatorymedications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen will help with pain and swelling. Follow the instructions on the label. These drugs can have side effects, so you should only use them now and then unless your doctor says otherwise.
  • Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if your doctor recommends them. You may want to do physical therapy, too.
  • Some people with knee pain need more help. For instance, if you have bursitis, your doctor may need to draw out extra fluid from the bursa in your knee. If you have arthritis, you may need an occasional corticosteroid shot to settle down inflammation. And if you have a torn ligament or certain knee injuries, you may need surgery.

    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.

    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.

    Also Check: Knee Walker Mobility Scooter

    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:

    Other Causes Of A Swollen Knee

    Should you have ACL surgery if you are older than 60?

    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.

    You May Like: Knee Brace Support Meniscus

    Can I Run On A Swollen Knee If It Doesnt Hurt

    A reader with an upcoming race wonders how to assess the seriousness of a potential injury.

    Forum user MIrunguy asks: I think I tweaked my knee a couple days ago and it bothered me that night. Since then, there really hasnt been any pain, but its still swollen. It feels like theres some fluid buildup, and it is kind of tight. But the part that bothered me the other night was actually above and on the inside, while the swelling is below and on the outside. So maybe they arent related.

    I tried doing a couple-mile run today and while it felt a little tight, there was not really any pain. I have a 5K race tomorrow. Would it be stupid to still try and do it? Should I count my blessings it doesnt hurt and just take it easy until the swelling goes down? Or if there is no pain, should I go for it?

    I am not sure what you mean by tweaked, but it appears you incurred a non-contact injury while you were running. You have not stated your age, and age may play a role in the likely cause. The injury may be due to overuse, or it may be the result of a misstep, like an unexpected pothole.

    Pain is a sign of tissue injury that is difficult to ignore. Other signs of tissue inflammation are warmth, redness, swelling, and loss of function, and all indicate some tissue damage. The signs that do not cause pain or loss of function are sometimes easy to overlook, but all five of the inflammatory signs should be equally respected.

    * * *

    When To See A Doctor

    Consult a doctor if knee pain does not improve with rest or occurs with other symptoms. Also, see a doctor after a sudden injury, such as from blunt force trauma.

    In addition, it is important to receive professional care if there are any indications of an infection, such as a fever or pus coming from a wound.

    Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Dark Spots On Knees

    How Can I Reduce Swelling In My Legs And Ankles After Knee Surgery

    Icing and elevation Continue using ice packs or some form of cold therapy to help reduce swelling. For knee replacement, you will need to elevate the leg to help reduce swelling. It is important to elevate the entire leg, down to the ankle. When elevating, your feet should be above the level of your heart.

    Exercises And Stretches That May Help

    Total Knee Replacement – “Why is my knee still swollen?”

    In some cases, people with a stiff knee should avoid exercising. Some knee injuries need time to heal and would benefit from rest instead of exercise.

    However, a stiff knee that occurs due to a form of arthritis may benefit from exercise. The Arthritis Foundation state that different exercises and stretches could help in different ways:

    • Strengthening exercises: Increasing muscle strength around the knee reduces the stress on the joint. Examples of these exercises include leg lifts and hamstring curls.
    • Range-of-motion exercises: Stretches and exercises that increase the knees range of motion keep the joint moving to reduce stiffness. Examples of these exercises include heel slides and stretching with a yoga strap.
    • Aerobic exercises: Cardio exercises can boost a persons energy levels and reduce any excess weight that may put extra pressure on the knee. Examples of these exercises include cycling and swimming.
    • Balance exercises: These exercises strengthen the muscles around the knee while also reducing the risk of falling, which could damage the joint further. Examples of these exercises include single leg standing and standing on a foam pad.

    A person with a form of arthritis may want to discuss any new exercise plans or programs with their doctor before starting.

    The following tips can also help prevent or alleviate knee stiffness and pain:

    You May Like: Nano Knee Cost

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Knee Walker

    Stiff Knee Pain Treatment

    The best course of treatment for a stiff knee will depend on the cause and stage of your knee problem. It might be that an exercise programme is what you need, you might need to think about the position you sit in or how active you are, change your diet or you might even need a course of physical therapy.

    Check out our article on How To Improve Knee Flexibility for loads of great ways to reduce knee stiffness and regain knee motion range.

    In the early stages of knee stiffness, particularly after a knee injury, following PRICE principles can really help:

    • Protect: the joint from further damage, e.g. with a brace.
    • Rest:from aggravating activities, but keep the leg gently moving so it doesnt seize up.
    • Ice:regular ice treatment can help reduce swelling and therefore knee stiffness.
    • Compression: specially designed bandages such as tubigrip help to support the knee and reduce swelling.
    • Elevation: keeping the leg elevated helps excess fluid in the joint to drain away.

    You can find out more about each of these in the PRICE treatment section.

    There are various supplements that claim to reduce the symptoms of a stiff knee, particularly with arthritis.

    The most popular ones include omega-3, glucosamine and chondroitin which can help to improve knee joint lubrication.

    You can find out more about how taking supplements can help to reduce knee stiffness and how they work in the supplements section.

    When Will My Knee Feel Better

    The recovery time depends on your injury. Also, some people naturally heal faster than others.

    While you get better, ask your doctor if you can do an activity that won’t aggravate your knee pain. For instance, runners could try swimming or other types of lower-impact cardio.

    Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Donât try to return to your regular level of physical activity until you notice these signs:

    • You feel no pain in your knee when you bend or straighten it.
    • You feel no pain in your knee when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump.
    • Your injured knee feels as strong as the other knee.

    Recommended Reading: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare

    Osteoarthritis The Most Common Reason For A Swollen Knee

    Osteoarthritis is by nature an inflammatory condition. As your arthritis worsens you may notice that the swelling is always present in the knee. Removing the fluid from an arthritic knee will usually make you feel better. Unfortunately for many arthritis sufferers, the swelling might return very rapidly.

    If your knee is swelling due to Osteoarthritis, its implied that your cartilage or the cushioning within the knee joint is wearing thin. The arthritic process also changes the chemicals within the knee and creates a rather hostile environment within the knee joint. This causes the Synovium to become irritated and produce a significant amount of fluid. Occasionally that fluid will migrate to the back of the knee and cause swelling in the back of the knee. If you have a swollen area in the back of the knee it is likely a Bakers cyst.

    Pain Swelling And Knee Stiffness

    Do you have sore or swollen knees? Then do these 3 exercises

    First lets talk about pain: Its the bodys way of preventing you from making an injury worse. Since pain may limit movement, it can cause stiffness in the knees, as can any ongoing injury.

    Knees become swollen when excess fluid builds up inside the knee due to an injury, overuse, or medical condition. This can cause sensations of tightness as well as pain. Swelling may be subtle, so you may not always notice it unless its a severe injury. Since the swelling may not be visible, you may feel this as stiffness in the knee.

    Any type of swelling will cause limited movement since theres less space in the knee. Irritation, internal bleeding, and injuries in the knee can lead to fluid buildup. Arthritis, gout, and tumors or cysts are conditions that can also cause swelling.

    Pain and swelling are two mechanisms your body uses to protect itself. Together they can lead to stiffness in your knee. Next, lets look at possible causes.

    You May Like: Ginger Poultice For Arthritis

    Treating A Joint Injury

    These conditions are easy to treat. Youâll likely make a full recovery. The first thing to do is give that joint a rest and take an over-the-counter pain medication. Your doctor will probably give you a splint to wear and tell you to put ice on it. They might show you some exercises to do, too. If that doesnât help, they could inject a stronger drug straight into the bursa or tendon to manage pain and swelling.

    How Is Pseudogout Diagnosed

    If your doctor thinks you have pseudogout, they may recommend the following tests:

    • an analysis of joint fluid by removing the fluid from the joint to look for calcium pyrophosphate crystals
    • X-rays of the joints to check for any damage to the joint, calcification of the cartilage, and deposits of calcium in the joint cavities
    • MRI or CT scans to look for areas of calcium buildup
    • ultrasound also to look for areas of calcium buildup

    Looking at the crystals found in the joint cavities helps your doctor make a diagnosis.

    This condition shares symptoms with other conditions, so it may sometimes be misdiagnosed as:

    Theres currently no treatment available to get rid of the crystal deposits.

    Recommended Reading: Flying After Knee Replacement Surgery

    Why Would A Teenager Have Knee Pain

    Knee pain isnt a condition that only happens to older people. Despite being young, your teenager can develop knee pain too.

    Knee pain in teens is a common result of overuse, but also results from specific knee injuries and medical conditions that affect the knee. Knee pain can also be temporary and not related to an injury, but rather a change in your teens level of activity or sport.

    Because of the many different reasons for knee pain, if your teen complains of pain, its wise to get it checked. Never think that knee pain in your teen is simply growing pains. This is not a typical cause of knee pain in a teenager.

    As A Result Of An Injury

    How do I know if my knees are swollen

    Ive said it many times before, and I dont mind saying it again:

    While running is an excellent exercise to keep you in top shape, as well as health, its also kind of notorious for having a huge impact on your joints. Its no surprise, then, that various types of injuries can occur.

    Ive previously talked about the impact running may have to your Achilles tendon , and your feet in general, but today I want to focus on the knees.

    Meniscus Tear

    Probably the most common knee injury, a meniscus tear, happens as a result of sudden movements and is often observed in those who play sports. That makes us, avid runners, pretty strong candidates for such an injury, don’t you think?

    So, if you recently had a sprain, and possibly damaged the meniscus along the way, it’s entirely possible that the tightness you’re experiencing is a result of a torn meniscus. If this C-shaped, rubbery disc suddenly stops being able to do its job which is to provide cushioning and stability your knee won’t be able to work correctly, either.

    Note:

    An injury is an injury, and no matter how physically fit you are, an injured knee is going to take you out of action for the time being. You’re going to have to sit this one out.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can’t do about it there are plenty of knee stability exercises you could try.

    Knee Tendonitis

    While it’s deemed the most common, a meniscus tear isn’t the only type of injury that could leave you wondering:

    Note:

    Don’t Miss: Getting Rid Of Fat Around Knees

    Lateral Collateral Ligament Injury

    The lateral collateral ligament is one of the four main ligaments of the knee. It connects the outer side of the femur and tibia and is primarily responsible for stabilizing the outer aspect of the knee.

    An LCL injury is often the result of a blow to the inside part of the knee this causes the LCL to stretch beyond normal and can result in partial or complete tearing of the ligament.

    Symptoms may include soreness on the outside of the knee, swelling, and stiffness. You may experience instability a feeling that the knee is unstable and going to buckle or give out.

    32 million adults in the United States.

    With aging, the cartilage that helps cushion the ends of bones in the knee joint can wear thin and eventually allow the bones to rub together. Pain, stiffness, and loss of joint movement can follow.

    Some people have more significant wearing of the cartilage in the outer compartment of the knee joint and this can lead to lateral sided knee pain.

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Popular Articles