Knee effusion or water on the knee is a general term for the excess fluid that builds up around your knee joint. You can feel pain when you put weight on the knee, stiffness and swelling. You can also experience some bruising on the knee, if you injured it. Excess water on the knee can be caused by past knee trauma, a condition or disease or overuse of the knee. Relief for excess fluid on the knee can be achieved through self-care or the aid of your family physician or specialist.
Try home remedies and changes in your lifestyle. Avoid weight-bearing activities like strenuous walking or sports as much as you can. Rest and apply cold therapy to your knee when it's swollen or painful. Use a bag of ice, an ice pack, a bag of frozen vegetables or an iced towel from your freezer on your knee for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this every two to four hours. Make sure to elevate your knee higher than your heart while you ice it. You may want to use pillows for comfort. Take pain medications, such as Motrin or Advil, to relieve inflammation or acetaminophen like Tylenol to stop pain.
Other ways you can help relieve excess fluid on your knee is to try muscle-toning exercises on your thigh or hamstring, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, if you are overweight, you can minimise the weight on your knee if you lose weight.
Seek medical attention. If the self-care management doesn't relieve the symptoms, you injure your knee or your knee becomes warm to the touch or red, it can be time to have your doctor examine your knee. You doctor may remove the excess fluid from your knee then treat the inflammation with an injection of corticosteroid in the knee. If you have an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Another option for you is arthroscopic knee surgery. Your orthopaedic surgeon can repair any damage to your knee.
Or your doctor may prescribe treatment to treat an underlying injury or disease you have like pseudogout or gout. With diseases like these, crystal deposits in your joints can cause your knee joints and soft tissues to inflame. Your doctor may prescribe alloprinol or probenecid to prevent future attacks.
Osteoarthritis in the knee typically does not require joint replacement. However, your doctor may recommend knee joint replacement if you can no longer place weight on your knee.