Knee Effusion Signs Symptoms and Treatments

Knee effusion is the build-up of fluid inside the knee, usually from inflammation.

  • Known as water on the knee
  • According to the MediLexicon Medical Dictionary, knee effusion is a large bursa between the inferior part of the femur and the tendon.
  • Also known as Prepatellar bursitis
  • Small amount of fluid is normal when the joint is affected
  • Occurs when excess synovial fluid accumulates

Knee Effusion Causes

  • Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of water on the knee
  • Repetitive stress and injury over a long duration of time
  • Trauma
  • Twisting
  • Hyperextension
  • Sudden stop
  • Direct blow
  • Diseases
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infection
  • Lyme disease
  • Gonorrhea
  • Gout
  • Bursitis
  • Tumors
  • Cyst
  • Bacterial infection
  • Cartilage tear
  • Broken bones

Knee Effusion Symptoms

  • Swelling and redness of the skin surrounding knee cap
  • Joint stiffness and difficulty straightening or bending knee
  • Pain and tenderness, especially when weight is put on the knee
  • Affected knee will feel warmer than opposite knee

Risk Factors

  • Age
  • Sports – people who participate in sports that involve twisting the knee such as basketball and football are at higher risk
  • Obesity – the more weight you have on your knee the higher your risk

Knee Effusion Treatment

  • RICE Method
    • Rest – rest the injured knee and stop all activities that caused the irritation of the knee
    • Ice – use ice or a Super Cool Therapeutic Knee Wrap
    • Compression – use a wrap or a Super Cool Therapeutic Knee wrap to add compression to knee
    • Elevate – keep the injured knee elevated and above heart if possible
    • Since knee effusion can be caused by several different events, RICE is a blanket treatment option. Make sure you talk to a doctor so they can recommend a more specific treatment approach
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