Normally, the knee joint contains a small amount of fluid to lubricate the surfaces of the joint. Knee effusion (water on the knee), is excess fluid accumulation in the joint. Water on the knee may be the result of trauma, overuse injuries or inflammation of lining (synovial) membrane.
Water on the knee tends to happen more often in people older than age 55. People who participate in sports that involve sudden changes of direction experience these types of knee injuries. Damage or traumatic injuries to any part of your knee can cause the painful buildup of excess joint fluid. Excess weight also causes water on the knee by putting added stress on the knee joint.in some cases Water on the knee may be a symptom for an underlying disease or condition as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
- Swelling. This swelling is most apparent when you compare the affected knee to the normal one.
- Stiffness. When your knee joint contains excess fluid, you may not be able to bend or straighten your leg completely.
- Pain. the knee may be very painful — to the point that it's impossible to bear weight on it.
The most important thing is the treatment of the underlying cause. Management of the effusion itself depends on the severity of the problem .
- Limit your activities and avoid weight-bearing activities as much as possible when your knee is painful and swollen. If crutches or a walker have been recommended, do not bear full weight on the injured knee.
- Apply an ice pack to your swollen knee may help with discomfort and help decrease swelling. Also, keep your knee raised while sitting down.
- The doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines used in treating swollen joints or steroid medications taken orally for a short period of time to effectively reduce the painful, swollen joints.
- Injecting an anti-inflammatory drug such as a steroid into a joint is another treatment method. Injections usually give the patient temporary relief of joint swelling and pain.
- Removing some of the fluid by a needle (aspiration) may help reduce the pain and stiffness and the aspirated fluid can be sent to the lab for analysis to help identify the cause.