During illness or following injury, you may notice changes in your body that bring cause for concern. A knee, a wrist, or ankle may appear swollen and the skin redder than normal. At the touch, the affected area may feel as though you have a soft, water-filled balloon under your skin, and your joints may ache. If you have experienced this, you may have joint effusion.
What is Joint Effusion?
Joint effusion is a condition in which excess fluid builds up around the joint. Effusion occurs commonly in the knee, where fluid accumulates in the synovial cavity and gives the area a swollen appearance. This is where the term “water on the knee” originates; similar symptoms found in other parts of the body may be diagnosed as bursitis.
What Causes Joint Effusion?
Joint swelling may occur as a result of infection, injury to the joint, or an existing joint pain condition like arthritis. Severity of joint effusion can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain coupled with skin redness localized in the affected area.
How Is Joint Effusion Treated?
Immediate treatment of joint effusion may involve the R.I.C.E. method of rest, ice pack, elevation and compression, especially following a sports or exercise-related injury. Related issues with joint pain, however, may require continued care. Medication, physical therapy, and surgery and/or joint replacement for serious pain are also options. If joint effusion in conjunction with arthritis poses continued difficulty for you, it may be time to consult an orthopedic surgeon.
At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our physicians have helped patients in the Hampton Roads with knee injuries and pain. We can help determine the care you need in order to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. Contact us today for more information.