Fluid on the Knee: Short Explanation

What It Means to Have Fluid on the Knee – Short Explanation

The really short explanation of the fluid on the knee condition is “knee swelling“. Basically, what happens is that fluid (mostly water) accumulates in your knee joint, causing it to be swollen and hurt.

What causes this to occur?

The most common cause for the water on the knee condition is arthritis. The two conditions are strongly associated – most of arthritis patients end up developing fluid on the knee. Other issues that may lead to developing water on the knee include injuries (usually ligament injuries or meniscus tears) or the internal tearing of the blood vessels in the area. Patients that suffer from ACL tears usually end up developing water on the knee.

The way the process develops is that all of the above-mentioned conditions end up creating excess fluid in the knee joint area. In the case of a condition called prepatellar bursitis, the fluid gathers up in an area called bursa – not quite the knee joint. Most of the doctors, though, still qualify this as fluid in the knee. The accumulated fluid leads to the development of the swollen knee.

Diagnosing water on the knee

The usual and most common symptom is strong knee pain. It may be quite easy to tell that one suffers from the condition, but since most of the time the treatment depends on the cause, it is very important to see a doctor and establish exactly what has led to the condition. Usually, the doctor takes a sample of the fluid and tests it – the cause is determined based on the results.

How does the fluid on the knee get treated?

There are various ways to treat the knee fluid condition. Since pain in the knee is one of its main symptoms, many doctors attempt to alleviate that by removing the fluid from the joint. That occasionally brings relief, but it’s a symptom treatment and usually the fluid in knee returns quite fast. The real treatment that would lead to the complete healing of the water on the knee depends on what caused the condition in the first place.

The three most common ways to treat fluid on the knee

In the case of the most common water on the knee causes (arthritis), the doctors usually attempt three things: anti-inflammatory medication will work on the arthritis and make sure that the swelling’s underlying cause is kept under control. A cortisone injection is also a common practice. The fluid on the knee then gets drained. If the arthritis is severe, though, surgery may be necessary.

In the case of a meniscus tear, it is most often that surgery is the necessary course of action. Depending on how serious the tear is, the surgery can either be a transplantation or a repair.

In the case of knee bursitis, the treatment also differs based on the seriousness of the condition. The bursa can either be drained or an excision can be performed. Antibiotics may also be administered, if the fluid on the knee condition also developed an infection in the area.