Swollen Knee: How Serious Is It
Swollen knee pain
Swollen knee is a condition or a symptom, but is not a disease itself. Some of the diseases that bring about knee swelling are the following:
Gout – a typical arthritis case that is brought about by an increase in uric acid blood deposits, swollen knee is a common symptom.
Pseudogout- another arthritic condition similar to gout but is instead caused by calcium pyrophosphate crystals instead of uric acid.
Rheumatoid arthritis – can also cause swollen knee and tenderness in the joints.
Osteoarthritis – the most common type of arthritis which also causes swelling of the joints.
There are more cases of swollen knee, all very painful. The pain attacks can be devastating to the patients and the knee, being the biggest joint, can really cause enormous suffering due to the intensified pain.
Why the knee is prone to swelling
Our knee has a sack-like structure called the bursa. Bursas are found in all joints and it just so happens that our knees, being the biggest joint in the body, has a big bursa. The bursa’s main function is to reduce the friction between the structures inside the knee joint. How is this done? A bursa is filled with synovial fluid which acts like an engine oil, reducing the friction between moving parts to a manageable level. It can be between the bone joints which connect the thigh to the shin. It can also be between the muscles and the tendons or bones and the ligaments. Without the bursa and its fluid, our joints will become nothing but torture chambers. Imagine the pain every time the bones hit each other or the tendons touch the muscles. There’ll be substantial pain production and inflammation and swelling will become the normal order of the day.
What causes swollen knee?
Now when the bursa is infected, it swells and inflames; the condition is called bursitis. Germs hemorrhage, and accidents are some of the causative effects. And when the fluid becomes infected, it turns into pus. Heat is produced and you won’ believe how big these swollen knees can be. A swollen knee is really a sight to behold. A bursa surrounds the patella and can cause prepatellar and infrapatellar bursitis. You’d think the person affected by this disease is affected by some kind of serious skin disease. There are also bursas in other parts of the knee that can create the same havoc. It’s a condition that is usually remedied by extracting the puss from the joints.
The signs of a swollen knee
Some of the physical manifestations of a swollen knee are of course the presence of joint swellings. The feeling of tenderness is also evident. The swelling can manifest itself in several degrees. There are those that are huge while there are those that are not as perceptible. It can affect one knee or both knees. The pain is another unmistakable symptom along with the presence of pus formation which includes some amount of blood. Stiffness is also present. Redness on the affected part is also very visible.
Home remedies for swollen knees
Cold compress as usual is effective for relieving inflammation and swelling, countering the heat production.
Elevate the knee to keep the pressure off.
Give the knee a rest and avoid moving around too much.
Wearing the appropriate knee braces will keep the swelling down and the pain minimized.
Don’t exert too much weight on the affected part.
Drink over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine.
If the condition does not improve go and visit your doctor.