- Having osteoarthritis or engaging in high-risk sports that involve rapid cut-and-run movements of the knee, football or tennis for example, means an individual is more likely to develop knee effusion.
- In overweight or obese individuals the body places more weight on the knee joint. This causes more wear in the joint. Over time, the body will produce excess joint fluid.
- MRI: An MRI detects abnormalities of the bone or knee joint, such as a tear in the ligaments, tendons or cartilage.
- Arthrocentesis. The knee is prepared in sterile fashion and anesthetized with local anesthetic to facilitate the use of a large-bore needle. The choice of the site of aspiration is a matter of operator preference. Accepted locations include the level of the joint line, 1 cm medial or lateral to the patellar tendon, with the patient seated. Alternatively, a location 2 cm medial or lateral to the anterior-superior patella can be used, with the patient supine. An 18-gauge needle is needed for aspiration of the viscous or bloody fluid.The fluid obtained from arthrocentesis should be sent for analysis.
- Ice: Applying ice or a frozen package of peas on your knee can help you overcome the symptoms of knee effusion. The cold temperature helps minimize the swelling and relieves the pain that often accompanies the condition. You should place the bag of ice over the injured or swollen area of your knee for 20-minute periods, and repeat the icing sessions frequently throughout each day.
- Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that can help treat the symptoms of knee effusion include Advil, Tylenol, ibuprofen, Aleve, or aspirin. Your doctor can also prescribe you more powerful medications, depending on the severity of your condition. Additionally, your doctor can provide corticosteroid injections directly onto the affected area.
- Surgery: If you are suffering from severe knee effusion with extreme symptoms or if your injury keeps recurring, you can have a doctor perform surgery to provide treatment for your knee. Several different types of surgical procedures help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of knee effusion, and your doctor can determine which procedure is most effective for your condition. Possible surgical procedures to treat knee effusion include arthroscopy, joint aspiration and knee replacement surgeries.
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