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Knee swelling Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

25 May 2023

Knee Replacement | Dr. Pankaj Bajaj
Knee swelling Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Knee swelling is a common problem with many probable causes. Knee swelling is a troublesome symptom with various underlying conditions, such as injury, arthritis, or infections. Knee joints are complicated structures with several parts that can cause knee pain, including bones, ligaments connecting bones to other bones, and tendons connecting muscles and bones.

Knee swelling leads to chronic pain or Knee Pain, discomfort, and mobility issues, significantly affecting an individual's daily life if left untreated; In contrast, mild swelling can be managed with non-surgical interventions, while severe swelling may require surgical intervention

In this blog, we'll explore the causes and symptoms of knee swelling, discuss when surgery is necessary.  We'll also highlight the importance of choosing a skilled and experienced knee replacement surgeon for optimal results.

Causes of Knee Swelling

1. Knee Injury

Pain and swelling can result from trauma to the knee's bones, ligaments, tendons, bursae, meniscus, or articular cartilage. Blood can stream into the knee joint due to serious injury, resulting in substantial swelling, warmth, stiffness, and bruising. Hemarthrosis is a disorder that requires immediate medical attention and sometimes requires the service of a knee surgeon in extreme cases.

2. Knee osteoarthritis

Excessive joint fluid due to cartilage degeneration results in knee swelling. Knee osteoarthritis swelling is frequently accompanied by pain.

Osteoarthritis-related knee swelling is commonly mild to moderate.

Osteoarthritis of the knee can be treated at home in a variety of ways. A doctor can also administer therapeutic injections and prescribe medical treatments like physical therapy. In severe cases patient may require knee replenish  surgery

3. Bursitis

Bursae are little, thin, fluid-filled sacs found all over the body. These slick cushions lessen friction between the surrounding muscles and skin and bones. There are 11 bursae in the knee, and 2 of them are particularly prone to bursitis.

Bursitis is the medical term for an irritated bursa. An inflamed knee bursa might overflow with fluid and cause oedema or wetness on the knee. It could feel "squishy," like a water balloon when the knee is enlarged. It might or might not hurt and feel tender. Prepatellar bursitis and pes anserine bursitis are the two most typical kinds of knee bursitis.

Although most cases of bursitis can be treated at home with non-urgent medical care, septic bursitis can be life-threatening, with some patients requiring the intervention of a Knee surgeon or Knee replacement surgeon.

When a bursa becomes infected with a bacterium, this disease develops. The bursa can swell and fill with pus. The person may have a fever and feel sick, and the swollen knee may look red and hot.

4. Infections

Knee swelling can be brought on by infections,bacterial, fungal and others including lupus, a chronic illness that triggers the immune system to target healthy tissues, including those in the joints. Tick-borne Lyme disease, which manifests as flu-like symptoms, a rash, and joint swelling

5. Baker's Cyst

A Baker's cyst may be the cause of knee  swelling in posterior part. There may be no further symptoms of the cyst, or there may be pain and stiffness. The pain might worsen when making certain motions, such as straightening or bending the knee or after prolonged standing.

A Baker's cyst develops when the popliteal bursa, a sac at the back of the knee, becomes overly swollen. A popliteal cyst is another term for a Baker's cyst. Although this condition may improve with home remedies, some people prefer to visit a Knee replacement surgeon to have the fluid drained.


Signs and symptoms typically include:

Stiffness- Excess fluid in the knee joint makes you unable to bend or straighten your leg completely.

Swelling. The skin around your kneecap puffs up noticeably when comparing the affected knee to the other one.

Pain. Based on the cause of the fluid buildup, your knee pain becomes unbearable, and bearing weight on it is impossible.

Home Remedies

Treatments range from surgery to home remedies based on the type & severity of your problem. Non-surgical remedies comprise: 

  •      RICE: "Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation" is effective if done immediately after an injury. RICE can help manage minor pain.
  •      Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
  •      Physical therapy: performing exercises to strengthen the knee and improve its stability.
  •      Wearing a brace on the knee
  •      Compression: Wrapping the knee lightly in an elastic bandage
  •      Reducing weight to reduce pressure on the knee
  •       in case you are overweight

 Surgery Requirements for Knee Swelling

Depending on your circumstances, surgery options range from arthroscopic procedures to replacing the knee joint with an artificial one. A tiny camera that is a component of an arthroscope is used during arthroscopic surgery. It is often an outpatient procedure and can be used to diagnose and treat patients. Depending on the procedure, physical therapy is frequently advised following surgery to help your knee regain strength and movement.

Closing Thoughts

Knee swelling can be a frustrating and painful experience, but it's important not to ignore it. At Neemtree Healthcare, we understand knee pain's impact on your daily life, and our team of expert knee specialists is here to help. With our cutting-edge facilities and advanced knee pain treatments, including knee replacement surgery, we provide the highest quality care to our patients.

As a one-stop solution to all your orthopaedic problems, we offer personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs, helping you to get back to doing the things you love. Overcome knee pain in holding you back any longer with our skilled knee replacement doctors in Delhi, Haryana and other major cities today and take the initial step towards a pain-free life.


What causes knee pain and treatment?

Knee pain results from an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions — including infections, arthritis, and gout, also can cause knee pain. Many types of minor knee pain respond to self-care measures well. Physical therapy and knee braces can also reduce pain.

What is the best treatment for knee pain?

The best treatment for knee pain depends on the underlying cause. Conservative treatments like rest, ice, compression, & elevation, as well as physical therapy, can be effective in reducing knee pain. In contrast, in severe cases, knee surgery provides the ultimate relief.

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Dr. Pankaj Bajaj

MBBS, MCh orthopedics , DNB orthopedics , MS orthopedics

Know Your Doctor Extensive experience of more than 25 years in......read more