Joint swelling in the knee


A Joint swelling can be in different Joints occur. The knee is very often affected. A Swelling of the Knee joint means that Knee thicker is. If it is one-sided, you have a good comparison. A swelling can appear on a injury or inflammatory process in the joint space. Often there are other complaints such as Redness, overheat and also Pain on.


A wide variety of causes can be responsible for joint swelling in the knee - from acute injuries to systemic diseases.

Joint swelling can occur for a variety of reasons. It can be one-sided or symmetrical on both knees. The knee joint is often exposed to great stress. This is one of the most common causes of swelling. Long periods of standing or sporting activities that place enormous strain on the knee joint, such as running, jumping and heavy lifting, can overload the bony structures as well as the surrounding soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments. Excessive stress can cause small lesions and tears on the cartilage, but also on the soft tissue structures, especially the tendons. This results in an inflammatory reaction. As a result, synovial fluid accumulates in the joint space, which can be so large that swelling of the knee is even visible from the outside.

Similar processes are also caused by various diseases. These include particularly chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. In this disease, the joint inflammation is autoimmune. This means that the immune system attacks the body's own structures, thereby triggering various processes, including inflammation.

Read more on the topic: Rheumatoid arthritis

In addition to autoimmune diseases, various injuries such as torn ligaments and bursitis can also occur (Bursitis), Broken bones or wear and tear as part of osteoporosis cause swelling in the knee.

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The knee joint is one of the joints with the greatest stress.

Therefore, the treatment of the knee joint (e.g. meniscus tear, cartilage damage, cruciate ligament damage, runner's knee, etc.) requires a lot of experience.
I treat a wide variety of knee diseases in a conservative way.
The aim of any treatment is treatment without surgery.

Which therapy achieves the best results in the long term can only be determined after looking at all of the information (Examination, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.) be assessed.

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Another cause may be the reactive arthritis be. Come along Inflammation in various joints before that after various bacterial infections occur. So the trigger can be a previously had Gastrointestinal disease, a sexually transmitted disease or a urinary tract infection have been.

It can also be used for swelling in the knee as well carried bacteria or viruses to be responsible. The metabolic disease gout also leads to swelling in joints, including the knee. This is a increased accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint spaces. In addition to inflammatory reactions, they also lead to uncomfortable pain.

Borrelia as the cause

At Borrelia it is about certain bacteriathat can cause various diseases in humans. They come in frequently Ticks in front. Through a They are transmitted to humans by tick bites and in some cases can trigger an infectious disease that Lyme disease or Lyme disease called. This infectious disease initially manifests itself with a Palm-sized redness around the original tick bite. Typically this reddening then migrates to other areas of the skin. For this reason it is also called Wandering redness (Erythema chronicum migrans) designated. On the basis of the reddening, the infection can usually be diagnosed with certainty, since this is the sign typical of Lyme disease is.

The disease has one creeping course. Those affected also suffer from a headache, Muscle aches, fever shows up in the later course and general exhaustion and fatigue. In the further course and if the borreliosis remains untreated for a long time, the bacteria also spread on other organs such as nerves, meninges, heart, eyes, skin and joints. In the joints, the bacteria lead to inflammation, which is also called Lyme arthritis referred to as. Accordingly, swelling in the knee can also occur in connection with a Borrelia infection.


Joint swelling in the knee can cause different symptoms depending on its severity. The swelling can often be seen in the knee joint. The knee can also be sensitive to pressure and cause pain when put under strain. When palpating the knee, it may feel very soft under the swelling. Often this can be an indication of water stored in the joint space. If there is inflammation, not only the swelling but also redness, fever and overheating can occur. When the knee is bent, the patient may feel a blockage or rubbing of cartilage surfaces within the knee joint. If the joint is injured, a bruise (Hematoma) because blood has flowed into the joint space and surrounding tissue.

You might also be interested in this topic: Lump on knee


Joint swelling in the knee can cause pain. The pain can be of different character. On the one hand, the pain can be permanent, or, on the other hand, it can only occur under strain or pressure. The type of pain can be throbbing and stabbing, especially if there is inflammation. The pain can also be caused by an increase in fluid in the form of blood or synovial fluid in the joint space. If there are injuries to bony structures, the ligaments such as the cruciate ligament or meniscus or the tendons of the attaching muscles, this can also cause considerable pain. With wear and tear of the knee or a rheumatic disease, the increasing abrasion of the cartilage surfaces can cause discomfort, which is especially worse when exercised.

Find out more about: Acute knee pain - that may be behind it

No pain

Joint swelling in the knee can also occur asymptomatic run and cause no pain for the patient. Swelling in other joints can then be an indication of a rheumatoid disease be. But inflammation can also occur without pain. Especially if they are in the Initial phase are still to be seen no pain. If the swelling persists, the patient should seek medical advice even if it does not cause any discomfort.

Water in the knee

In some cases the Accumulation of water in the knee joint be responsible for a visible swelling. In medical terminology this is called effusion designated. The entire joint is swollen, feels soft but liquid-filled on. In this case, the Kneecap can be moved much more to the side and it can be pushed in more. This is often a sign of water in your knee. The water can under a Inflammatory process have arisen.

If there is inflammation locally increased cells of the immune defense washed ashore and fluid accumulates in the joint space. The joint capsule produces more synovial fluid. So can be the cause bacterial infections or rheumatoid arthritis be considered. Furthermore, this can also be done by Injuries to bones or ligaments due to prior sports accidents, Accidents or overload be conditional. It is not uncommon for it to be one bloody effusion. In addition to the effusion, other complaints such as Pain and tenderness as well as a Restriction of movement occur.


For example, a well-done exam involves moving the knee in all possible directions.

Joint swelling on the knee can often be seen from the outside.During a conversation, the doctor asks for more information about the duration of the swelling, whether any movements, such as sport, preceded the symptoms or whether other joints are also affected by swelling. With the information provided, the doctor can draw initial conclusions about the possible cause.

Read more on the topic: Joint swelling of the knee

The doctor then examines the affected joint and carefully feels the swelling. He examines whether there is fluid in the joint, whether it is tender and whether the knee joint feels overheated. Furthermore, he can move the knee joint in all possible directions. The doctor uses this to check the extent to which the joint is restricted in its function. The knee joint is moved all around, which at the same time also checks the mobility of the ligaments, especially the cruciate ligaments and menisci.

At the same time, the doctor makes sure that the pressure on the knee is causing the patient pain. If the doctor needs further information so that he can make a diagnosis, he can also examine the blood or use imaging methods such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging. Certain parameters in the blood can indicate inflammation, and specific injuries to bones, ligaments and tendons can be detected or excluded using the X-ray images.


A joint swelling in the knee is common in the first place treated symptomatically. This means that initially the Relief of the discomfort how pain is in the foreground. Often the patient is given pain relieving tablets such as Ibuprofen prescribed. In addition, the patient can regularly have a cooling but also locally acting ointment such as Voltaren pain gel Instruct. This also works anti-inflammatory and decongestant.

Of course it should also Cause fights become. Is there a rheumatic disease before, be certain Medication prescribed. With inflammatory diseases or processes can also cortisone, which has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, can be used. in the case of very severe pain, patients also receive in some cases local narcoticsthat direct in the affected joint injected can be.

In the case of joint effusion, the Any accumulated fluid is drained away during a puncture become. This alleviates the discomfort and at the same time promotes healing. In general, in the case of swelling, the affected joint is immobilized. This can also be done with the help of orthopedic aids such as Bandages or Support respectively. The Joint should be spared and cooled. Also regular elevation of the entire leg promotes swelling.

It may be necessary to refrain from excessive stress first. Osteoarthritis patients Sports such as swimming or cycling recommended as they are gentler on the knee. You should also regular physiotherapy and heat treatment perform so that the muscles are strengthened and the knee is relieved but also stabilized.