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Fluid in the knee: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

If your knees hurt, you feel inflamed, and you have difficulty moving comfortably, you may have fluid accumulated in your knee. This is a widespread type of injury, especially in older people, although its causes can be very diverse and affect everyone.

We all have fluid in the knee, known as synovial fluid, which helps lubricate this joint. However, if this liquid accumulates in excess, it can cause us several painful annoyances. Do you want to know more about this condition and learn how to eliminate it? In the following FastlyHealarticle, we talk about fluid in the knee: causes and treatment.

Synovial fluid effusion in the knee: causes

Many reasons can cause a synovial fluid leak in the knee. They can be due to blows, diseases, or the simple passage of the years. Below we explain the causes of fluid in the knee :

  • Trauma or injury: depending on the blows to the knee or falls involving the ligatures, cartilage, or bone, it can end up causing injuries on the inside that cause fluid to leak into the knee. In young people, this is usually the leading cause.
  • Too much effort: there are different anaerobic exercises, for example, cycling or continuous running, which cause a constant strain on the knee, causing minor trauma to the joint that, over time, can inflame it and push the fluid to become accumulate at the knee.
  • Infections: An infection in the knee, something familiar after postoperative periods, will cause pus to collect with excess synovial fluid, causing an increase in internal pressure and requiring immediate attention.
  • Osteoporosis: this is a widespread disease among older people, especially in the case of women. This disease causes the loss of bone and cartilage mass, causing the bones to wear out as a result of continuous contact.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: this type of arthritis is an autoimmune disease, among whose consequences we find the loss of the joint lining, which in the knee causes an increase in fluid.
  • Gout: it is a disease resulting from high uric acid levels, a component that accumulates in the joints and which, among other symptoms, causes an increase in fluid in the knee.

Synovial fluid in the knee: symptoms

First of all, you should know that the fluid in the knee is something normal. Synovial fluid is an essential element so that our knees can perform their functions typically since it is the protection and lubrication of the joint to facilitate its movement.

However, when it accumulates in quantities too high, it is no longer normal and becomes a complication that must be treated. Wondering how to tell if I have liquid on the roller? Here are some of the symptoms of fluid in the knee that warn us that something is not working well in our joint:

  • Swelling.
  • Pain.
  • The appearance of bruises.
  • Knee stiffness

It should be noted that although these are symptoms of fluid accumulation in the knee, it does not mean that there must be this alteration. They are also symptoms of other problems in this joint, and, in addition, depending on the cause, they may manifest in one way or another. So, if you notice these or other symptoms in your knee, the best option is to visit a traumatologist who can diagnose you correctly and with which to start the most appropriate treatment. Next, we will talk about the different ways to cover this injury.

Remove synovial fluid in the knee: treatment.

As we have seen in previous sections, there is no single cause of fluid in the knee. Therefore, there cannot necessarily be a single treatment. Apart from this, the state of the knee and the level of accumulated fluid will also be different from one case to another. Before starting any treatment, you should go to the doctor to perform the relevant tests—X-ray analyses and MRIs that help know which treatment will be more effective and less invasive. If these studies reveal internal damage to the joint, an arthroscopy can even be done to understand how the knee is inside.

Depending on the cause, you can choose one or another treatment to eliminate synovial fluid. The alternatives that can be carried out are the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory or corticosteroid injections into the knee.
  • If there is an infection, a course of antibiotics should be carried out.
  • Corticosteroid or anti-inflammatory injections into the joint.
  • In cases where the accumulation is severe, an aspiration of the fluid from the knee can be done.
  • If there is damage to the knee, it may be necessary to put a knee replacement.

Fluid on the knee: home remedies

Suppose the doctor has decided that the accumulation is not significant enough to carry out a more intensive treatment. In that case, you have at your disposal a series of home remedies for fluid in the knee that can be very useful to reduce its presence as well as alleviate the resulting symptoms:

Ice application

Applying cold, either with compresses or with ice, is one of the best home remedies for fluid on the knee. On the one hand, it will reduce the pain you may feel, and, on the other, it will deflate the joint and help eliminate excess fluid. The best way is to employ ice bags, conveniently wrapped with a cloth to avoid direct contact with the skin, slightly compressing the joint while keeping the knee raised.

Neuromuscular bandage

The neuromuscular bandage is another of the great natural remedies that we have available to eliminate the fluid in the knee and its most annoying symptoms. This type of bandage has become popular in recent years. You have undoubtedly seen these colorful adhesive bandages on the street or in athletes. It is best to go to a specialist so that the placement is perfect and helps your joint better, reducing the fluid that accumulates excessively in the knee.


A diuretic product facilitates and increases fluid elimination naturally, generally through the urine. A diuretic can be a medicine recommended by a doctor, and the many natural products that we can use for this purpose. At the same time, some products help us reabsorb fluid from the knee that we can use to alleviate this injury.

Two of the best medicinal plants to eliminate fluid in the knee are horsetail and dandelion. In addition, both can be taken as an infusion and are very easy to prepare. If you want to know more about this type of food, in the following FastlyHealarticle, we will talk about the best natural diuretics. Try them!

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Fluid in the knee: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, Joints, and Muscles.

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