Water on the knee? not a good place to carry your drinks!

Water on the knee is a generic term used to describe knee swelling which occurs when excess fluid accumulates in or around the knee joint.

There are many common causes for the swelling and these include arthritis, injury to the ligaments or meniscus, or when fluid collects in the bursa.

(A bursa (plural bursae or bursas; Latin: Bursa synovialis) is a small fluid-filled sac made of white fibrous tissue and lined with synovial membrane. It provides a cushion between bones and tendons and/or muscles around a joint; bursae are filled with synovial fluid and are found around almost every major joint of the body; when they become inflamed, the condition is called bursiti)

Knee joint When through either injury or infection, the body will increase the amount of synovial - water on the knee - fluid to protect the joint.

Typically the reasons are ;-

# Osteoarthritis

# Rheumatoid Arthritis.

# Broken bones (fractures).

# Meniscus tear.

# Ligament tear.

# Overuse injuries.

# Gout.

# Cysts.

# Tumours.

# and general overuse.

As you can see the main 2 reasons are generally either Osteoarthritis or as a result of a sports related injury.

Generally speaking discomfort is the term rather than pain, to describe the feeling water on the knee gives for although the joint is sometimes extremely swollen it is not always as painful as it might look.

Naturally with such an increase in fluid the joint becomes more difficult to bend in the normal manner and the full range of movement is not possible.

When to seek medical advice,p>

Having water on the knee because of an underlying condition doesn't necessarily limit your mobility or decrease your quality of life but see your doctor promptly if:

# You have injured your knee.

# The personal self care measures such as NSAIDS and resting.

don't relieve the pain and reduce the water on the knee.

# Or one knee becomes red and feels warm to the touch as compared to your other knee.

Typically a Doctor will upon examination decide if it is necessary to investigate further and order X-rays to make sure you haven't broken or dislocated any bones or to determine if you have arthritis.

An MRI. test to detect any abnormalities of the bone or knee joint, such as a tear in your ligaments, tendons or cartilage.

Carry out a joint aspiration (arthrocentesis) that entails your doctor withdrawing fluid from inside your knee for analysis such as cell count, culture for bacteria, and examination for crystals, such as uric acid or calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals found in gout or pseudogout.

Give you a blood test. If your knee is swollen, red and warm to the touch when compared to your other knee. Your doctor may be concerned about inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis or a crystalline arthritis, such as gout or joint infection.

Apart from sending the joint fluid to the lab for analysis, he or she may request blood tests to determine your white blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and perhaps the level of C-reactive protein or uric acid.

If your knee joint is infected, it may cause destruction of the joint or it may extend into the bone (osteomyelitis) so proper medical care is important. Do not let the condition 'Water on the Knee' go unexamined.Swollen knee

Treatments and drugs

Treatment for water on the knee focuses on treating the underlying disease or injury.

• Gout or pseudogout. With these two conditions, uric acid or CPPD crystals deposit in joints and may cause inflammation in the joint and surrounding soft tissues. An intra-articular corticosteroid injection; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, may be recommended for treatment of an acute attack of gout or pseudogout. One such drug currently used is Allopurinol which decreases the body's production of uric acid in an attempt to prevent additional episodes of gout.

• Infection. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the underlying infection. You may need repeated aspiration of the infected joint or surgery.

• Arthroscopic knee surgery. Using an arthroscope — a surgical tool designed to look inside your knee joint — an orthopedic surgeon examines the inside of your knee joint for wear and tear. The surgeon may also repair damage inside your knee joint with this instrument.

• Joint replacement. Most people with osteoarthritis of the knee don't require surgery. But if bearing weight on your knee joint becomes intolerable, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon for knee replacement.

To avoid water on the knee:

• Be gentle with your knees lose weight if you are over weight. If you're overweight and plan to start an aerobic exercise program as part of a weight-loss program, avoid excess wear and tear on your knees. Select an aerobic activity that doesn't place continuous weight-bearing stress on your knee joints, such as water aerobics or swimming.

• Muscle-toning exercises. If your thigh (quadriceps) muscle or hamstring muscles are weak, learn how to strengthen these muscles to better support your knee.

• See your doctor regularly. See your doctor regularly if you have a chronic health condition, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

• Follow through on your doctor's directions. Take the medications your doctor prescribes to treat the underlying disease or condition that causes water on the knee. If your doctor, physical therapist or sports trainer recommends you wear a knee brace because of a prior injury, be sure to follow their advice.

Treatments

(R.I.C.E.) Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevation. Cold therapy can help control pain and swelling. Apply ice to your knee for 15 to 20 minutes every two to four hours. You may use a bag of ice, frozen vegetables or an iced towel cooled down in your freezer. When you ice your knee, raise your knee higher than the level of your heart, using pillows for comfort and to assist this, with medical supervision take some NSAIDs to reduce the swelling.

Quick treatments, Cortisone shots: will relieve joint pain at the source with a simple injection. Usually a combination of a local anesthetic, or numbing agent, which provides immediate relief, and a corticosteroid, such as cortisone.

The steroid reduces inflammation and often can relieve your pain for several weeks or even months at a time.

Before turning to cortisone shots, however, doctors usually try less invasive treatment methods first — such as oral medications and physical therapy.

Risks of cortisone shots.

Complications of cortisone shots are rare, but can be serious. If the injection introduces bacteria, an infection can occur. Delayed treatment for a joint infection can destroy the joint's function.Signs of an infection include:

• Fever of at least 100.4 F

• Injection site becomes red, swollen, tender or warm.

• Fluid drains from injection site.

• Injection site drainage has an odor.

If corticosteroids are injected directly into tendons or nerves, it can cause severe damage. Color changes also may occur around injection sites in people with dark skin. Soft tissues around the injection site may shrink (atrophy).

Corticosteroids can also weaken bones and make you more prone to cataracts. Serious side effects more typically occur in people who are taking corticosteroid pills daily for long periods of time. Pills affect the entire body, while corticosteroid injections tend to work primarily at the injection site.

Still, doctors usually limit the number of corticosteroid injections you can receive within a given time period, usually limited to three or four a year. If you feel that you need more frequent cortisone shots, talk to your doctor about other ways to control your pain.

If you're currently taking other medications for arthritis pain, these may need to be adjusted to help you better control your joint pain.

Whatever you do, do take care of all of your joints to maintain them in a healthy working order for they were designed by our maker to last us a lifetime.

So treat your body with respect, enjoy your walking, sports and exercises and live a long healthy life.

Omega 3 A very useful suppliment to take.

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