Knee Joint Effusion Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies

Knee Joint Effusion Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies

What is knee joint effusion

Water on the knee is a term often used to describe a build up of fluid in or around the knee joint. The build up of fluid can occur in any joint in your body, including your hips, knees, back and feet. Joint effusions can be caused by injury, overuse or underlying diseases or conditions. The most common cause of a joint effusion is osteoarthritis.

Knee Joint Effusion Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies

When knee joint effusion is large, it leads to swelling in and around the knee joint. The effusion typically is that of synovial fluid. The fluid accumulates due to the inflammation of synovial membrane of the knee joint. Most of the time, the fluid is synovial in nature, meaning that it comes directly from the joint itself, but you also may find that the fluid consists of something else, such as blood or even bacteria.

Treatment for a joint effusion depends upon what is causing the swelling. The doctor likely has run tests to find the cause and will give you advice on caring for the joint.

Causes Of Effusion Of Knee Joint

Trauma: direct trauma to the knee joint can give rise to knee joint effusion.

The injury can be due to fracture of bone in the knee joint or due to tear in the ligaments and meniscus.

Overuse or continuous stress to the knee joint can also lead to knee joint effusion.

Osteoarthritis: knee effusion is common in this condition.  As a person grows older, the cartilages of the knee joint are gradually destroyed giving rise to effusion. Pain and stiffness are other symptoms of osteoarthritis of knee joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis: it is an autoimmune disease where the synovial tissue gets inflamed giving rise to effusion and swelling of the knee joint. Pain, redness, stiffness and swelling are symptoms of this disease.

Acute bacterial infection: staphylococcus infection.

Tubercular effusion: the cause is tuberculosis of the knee joint.



Bleeding disorders.

Symptoms of Knee Joint Effusion

The most common symptom of knee joint effusion is that of pain or discomfort, but you also may experience some swelling, stiffness and even bruising, depending on the cause of the excess fluid.

Treatment For Knee Joint Effusion

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many different treatment options for joint effusion of the knee, including both home care and physician-led care. The exact treatment will depend on the severity of the condition as well as the cause of it. Some treatments specifically look to address the symptoms whereas others look to combat the underlying cause.

If your condition is being caused by an infection, then the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. The exact antibiotics will depend on the infection you are believed to have.

Physiotherapy exercises are also effective in reducing effusion and stiffness of knee joint.

At home, you may take over the counter pain killers in order to help alleviate some of the pain associated with this condition. If those medications are not powerful enough, the doctor may give you a prescription painkiller to help you deal with your condition until it gets better.

Corticosteroids are also commonly used to address joint effusion of the knee. These are powerful drugs with an anti-inflammatory effect. Prednisone is an example of such a drug. There are different ways in which this can be delivered. You may take it in an oral form or it may be given as an injection right into the joint of your knee. Although they are effective, corticosteroids can also have serious side effects. Their usage should be limited in both amount and time span of treatment.

Sometimes joint effusion of the knee will require more invasive or surgical procedures. Joint aspiration, or anthrocentesis, is the process of physically removing the liquid from your knee. In a doctor's office or hospital, your knee will first be sterilized. A large needle will be placed in the space between the joint of the knee. The syringe is used to drain out the fluid, which will then be examined for signs of infection. Corticosteroids are sometimes used afterwards.

Arthroscopy is another procedure that may be performed. An arthroscope is a device that allows the doctor to actually look inside the knee joint. He can look for problems and use the device to repair damage.

In very severe cases, one may not be able to bear the pain of walking on the knee. An orthopedic surgeon can conduct a joint replacement if the situation warrants it.

Reduce your weight if you are obese as your knees will be strained more as they are weight bearing joint. Avoid eating or cut down your sugar intake, restrict alcohol and red meat. Avoid eating white flour, oily, fried and junk food.

When you have joint effusion of the knee, it is important to rest the knee. This may help you feel better and alleviate some of the symptoms. If one knee is warmer than the other, be sure to contact your physician immediately. Talk to your health care provider about the best treatment options for you.

Home Remedies for Knee Joint Effusion

Take any medications the doctor prescribes you.

Be gentle with your joint.

Rest, avoid activities that put pressure on your joint, while it is painful and swollen.

Ice can help control pain and swelling. Apply an ice pack, wrapped in a cloth for 15 minutes every two to four hours.

Elevation-raise your knee (or elbow, or foot) using pillows above the level of your heart.

Pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be helpful. If these don’t help with the pain, ask your doctor about prescription medications.