Joint effusion of the knee is a painful condition in which fluid accumulates around the knee joint. Your knee may be swollen and stiff, and it can hurt a lot. Various triggers can cause this condition including trauma, injuries from overuse or infection.
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.
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.
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.