If you've been experiencing pain and swelling in your knee, you're not alone. In fact, a swollen knee is actually quite common. There are many different causes of a swollen knee, ranging from overuse injuries to underlying diseases and conditions. To determine the cause of your swollen knee, your doctor might need to obtain a sample of the fluid that has built up in or around your joint. Fortunately, there are treatments available for both the symptoms and the underlying cause of a swollen knee.

Knee Swelling Treatment Overview

A swollen knee can be caused by a variety of ailments, ranging from traumatic injuries to illnesses and other conditions. chances are your doctor recommended rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) as one of your first treatments.

The RICE method is a simple self-care technique that helps reduce swelling, ease pain, and speed up healing.The RICE method includes the following four steps:

Step 1: Rest

Pain is a warning that something is wrong with your body. Stop all activity and rest as much as possible for the first 2 days if you're injured. Don't try to adhere to the "no pain, no gain" when it comes to inflamed injuries. Doing so can make the damage worse and delay your recovery.

Step 2: Ice

Ice is a tried-and-true tool for reducing pain and swelling. Apply ice for 15-20 minutes every two to three hours during the first 24 to 48 hours after your injury. Continue icing twice a day until the pain is gone.

Step 3: Compression

This means wrapping the injured area to prevent swelling. Wrap the affected area with a compression sleeve (like a Cryosleeve). You want it to be secure without being overly tight; if it's too tight, blood flow will be disrupted. If the skin beneath the wrap becomes blue or chilly, numb, or tingly, loosen the bandage. Instead of wraps, use an adjustable compression sleeve to regulate compression rather than restricting blood flow.

Step 4: Elevation

When you raise the hurt body part higher than your heart, it decreases pain, throbbing, and puffiness. It's not as difficult to perform as you might believe. If you have knee inflammation, for example, you can elevate your leg on cushions while sitting on the sofa. The CDC advises that whenever feasible, you should keep the injured area propped up even if you're not icing it.

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Injuries That Cause Knee Swelling

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Injury

An ACL injury is a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament, one of the ligaments that hold the knee together. This type of injury is often caused by a sudden twisting motion, such as when you change direction while playing sports. Symptoms of an ACL injury include pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.

Treatment for ACL Injury

There are a few different treatment options for ACL injuries, depending on the severity of the injury. Treatment options may include the following:

Rest. This is important for the healing process. You may need to refrain from activities that put stress on your knee.

Ice. Apply ice to your knee regularly, especially in the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury occurred.

Compression. Wrapping an elastic bandage or compression wrap around your knee can help reduce swelling.

Elevation. Elevate your knee above heart level when resting to help reduce swelling.

Cartilage (meniscus) Tear

A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. Any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when putting your full weight on it, can lead to a torn meniscus. Each of your knees has two C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act like a cushion between your shinbone and your thighbone. A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness. If you've torn your meniscus, it might take 24 hours or more for pain and swelling to begin, especially if the tear is small.

Symptoms of Cartilage (Meniscus) Tear

The most common symptoms of a cartilage (meniscus) tear are:

Pain. Inside, outside or back of the knee

Swelling. Inside (medial), outside( lateral) or back of the knee

Stiffness. Knee feels locked or catchingLimpingLoss of range of motion

Treatment for a Cartilage Tear

If you've been experiencing pain and swelling in your knee, you might have a cartilage tear. Cartilage tears can be caused by a variety of things, such as overuse injuries or underlying diseases and conditions. Treatment for a cartilage tear will depend on the size, location, and severity of your symptoms. For small cartilage tears causing minor symptoms, noninvasive and holistic treatments such as the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation – are first recommended. If the RICE method doesn't work to relieve the pain or the disabling condition of the injured joint, then your orthopedist may recommend physical therapy and changes to your lifestyle which may be exacerbating the injury.

Knee Overuse Injury

Overuse injuries of the knee result from microtrauma associated with physical activity and exercise that exceeds the tissue tolerance of the affected structure. Each of these repetitive forces is applied to muscles, tendons, cartilage, or bone with less intensity than the acute injury threshold.

Most knee overuse injuries are of multifactorial etiology involving extrinsic factors (training errors) or intrinsic factors (anatomical and biomechanical variations). Training errors include excessive intensity or rapid increase of workload. Anatomical and biomechanical variations, such as increased Q angle in women and a decrease in joint laxity with age, can also lead to overuse injuries.

Symptoms of Knee Overuse Injury

- Gradual Pain
- Pain during activity or work
- Slight swelling
- Redness
- Tender
- Hot when touching
- Morning or evening stiffness

Treatment for Overused Knees

Before you start an activity warm up properly with heat and compression to increase blood flow, decreasing stiffness in injury risk.

Noninvasive and at home treatments such as the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation – are usually recommended for mild or moderate overuse injuries.

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Diseases and conditions THAT CAUSE SWOLLEN KNEE'S


Arthritis is a general term for inflammation of the joints. There are many different types of arthritis, but all cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joints.

Non-Surgical Treatment

- Using ice & compression for pain management.
- Doing physical therapy.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Using a knee brace / compression sleeve
- Heat & Compression to combat stiffness
- Orthotic: insoles or special footwear
- Cortisone (steroid) injections


Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product that is normally excreted by the kidneys. When there is too much uric acid, it can form crystals in the joints, causing pain, inflammation, and redness.


Gout almost always develops suddenly and usually at night. Signs of Gout include:

Intense joint pain. Gout affects the big toe disproportionately, although it can affect any joint. Other joints that are frequently affected include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers. The discomfort is likely to be most severe within the first four to 12 hours after it begins.

Lingering discomfort. Some joint discomfort can last for a few days to a few weeks after the most severe pain has passed. Later attacks are more likely to last longer and affect additional joints.

Inflammation and redness. Swelling, tenderness, warmth, and redness are all signs that inflammation has set in.

Limited range of motion. Gout can cause stiffness, pain, and swelling in your joints. As gout advances, you may find it increasingly difficult to move your limbs freely.


The type of medication you need depends on the frequency and severity of your symptoms, as well as any underlying health concerns

- R.I.C.E. Therapy

- Anti-Inflammatory Diet

- Cold Massage

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Knee Bursitis

Knee bursitis is a condition that affects the knee joint. It is characterized by inflammation of the bursa, which is a small fluid-filled sac that helps reduce friction and cushion pressure points between the bones and the tendons, muscles, and skin near the joint.

There are many different causes of knee bursitis, but it most commonly occurs as a result of overuse injuries or arthritis. Symptoms of knee bursitis include pain, swelling, and limited mobility. Treatment often includes a combination of self-care practices and doctor-administered treatments.

With early diagnosis and treatment, knee bursitis can often be managed effectively.

Knee bursitis is a condition that results in pain and swelling around the knee joint. The cause of the condition can vary, but it often occurs as a result of overuse or from an injury. Symptoms can include warmth, tenderness, and swelling around the knee joint, as well as pain when moving or at rest. Treatment for knee bursitis typically involves a combination of rest, ice, and medication to reduce inflammation. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the inflamed bursa. Prevention of knee bursitis usually involves taking steps to avoid overuse or injury to the knee joint.

Knee Bursitis Symptoms

Knee bursitis symptoms vary depending on which bursa is inflamed and what's causing the irritation. When you apply pressure to the affected region of your knee, it may feel warm, painful, and swollen. Moving or resting can be painful. A forceful strike to the knee might produce manifestations rapidly. Most cases of knee bursitis develop as a result of friction and irritation of the bursa located in occupations that require a lot of kneeling on hard surfaces - so they usually begin slowly and get worse over time.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Bursitis typically gets better with time, so treatment is usually geared towards symptom relief. However, depending on the origin of your knee bursitis and which bursa is affected, your doctor may advise one or more therapy tactics.

Medication- If an infection has caused the knee bursitis, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotic treatment

Physical Therapy- Your doctor might refer you to a physical therapist or specialist in sports medicine, who can help you improve flexibility and strengthen muscles. This therapy might alleviate pain and reduce your risk of recurring episodes of knee bursitis. Protective knee braces might help if you can't avoid kneeling, and compressive knee sleeves can help reduce swelling.

Cold Compression Therapy- might help if you can't avoid kneeling, and compressive knee sleeves can help reduce swelling.

Baker's Cyst

A Baker's cyst, also called a popliteal cyst, is usually the result of a problem with your knee joint, such as arthritis or a cartilage tear. Both conditions can cause your knee to produce too much fluid, which can lead to a Baker's cyst. A Baker's cyst is a fluid-filled sac that causes a bulge and a feeling of tightness behind your knee. The pain can get worse when you fully flex or extend your knee or when you're active. Although a Baker's cyst may cause swelling and make you uncomfortable, treating the probable underlying problem usually provides relief.

Baker's Cyst Symptoms

Sometimes you'll experience no discomfort at all, or just a little discomfort from the Baker's cyst. You could only have knee pain from the initial damage that produced the Baker's cyst, but not the lumps itself. Any strain - whether it be physical, mental, or emotional - can cause this lump or your knee to swell in size. Swelling of the knee or cyst may boost your agony and limit how far you can bend your leg.

- A fluid-filled lump behind your knee
- Pain
- Stiffness of your knee
- Limited range of motion and ability to bend your knee
- Swelling of your knee and/or leg

Nonsurgical Treatment 

Resting your leg whenever possible.

Applying ice to your knee.

Using compression wraps on your knee to decrease the amount of joint swelling.

Elevating your knee while you are resting

Knee Infection

Knee injuries, surgical procedures, Staphylococcus infections, and other health concerns can all cause knee infections. The following are some of the most prevalent diseases linked to knee infections. Swelling of the knee joint is a common occurrence as a result of an infection or infestation.

Infection Symptoms

- The pain is more severe than you expected, based on the size of the injury or ailment.

- A wound accompanied by a fever (higher than 100°F ) and a rapid heartbeat (usually more than 100 beats a minute)

-Pain that extends past the edge of the wound or visible infection

- Pain, warmth, skin redness, or swelling at a wound, especially if the redness is spreading rapidly

-Pain from a skin wound that also has signs of a more severe infection, such as chills and fever

-Grayish, smelly liquid draining from the wound




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