Knee pain water on the knee

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Joint swelling may or may not occur along with joint pain.

The swelling may be due to soft tissue edema or it may be due to accumulation of fluid inside the joint.

Water on the knee is a general term used to describe fluid that accumulates in the knee joint. The technical term for this is “knee effusion.” A knee effusion may cause swelling and pain. Several conditions may cause water on the knee. These include:

•Arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, pseudogout, psoriatic arthritis, Reiter’s disease)

•Bleeding into the knee joint due to trauma or a bleeding disorder like hemophilia

The medical history and a physical examination will help establish the diagnosis.

Diagnostic tests that may be performed including:

•blood studies (such as a CBC or blood differential)
•X-rays of affected joints (see joint X-ray)

A physician may decide to draw the fluid out of the joint to establish the diagnosis of the reason for the water on the knee. Also drawing the fluid off and injecting the knee with glucocorticoid may help with symptoms, particularly if the problem is due to inflammation in the knee joint.

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