June 16, 2009

What Are The Causes of Swollen Knee Pain?

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

A swelling in the knee, most often called “water on the knee” is a relatively common condition and can be caused by a number of factors. Although it gradually develops in older people, generally above the age of 60, it can also be a cause of a physical injury in children and young adults.

Swollen knees are classified largely into two distinct groups. Acute injuries like when a person injures their foot, causing the swelling to appear suddenly. The acute injuries will normally show the swelling of the knee within 12-24 hours of the injury. The appearance of swelling will always be due to a type of fluid building up within the knee joint. Once it has been substantiated that the swelling is, indeed, acute – it is important to find out what kind of fluid is building up within the joint. The fluid could be because of a build up of blood that is commonly caused due to a fracture of the bone or because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury. The cruciate ligament is one of four ligaments that are critical for the stability of the knee joint. An injury to this ligament could have longer term repercussions like leading to arthritis. The other type of fluid that could build up within the knee is non – bloody fluid. Meniscus tears and ligament sprain can cause non bloody fluid to build up in the knee and will take a longer time to accumulate than when compared to bloody fluid build up.


The other major category of knee swelling is the chronic conditions and deal make up the more long-term effects of knee injury. The most common condition of this type is knee where the body’s production of fluids for the knee joint will fluctuate causing the knee to appear swollen at times and completely normal at others. The chronic condition of Osteoarthritis, when the ligaments between the knees wear out, causes abrasions in the knees which give rise to pain.

Knee swelling can also happen due to an infection acquired possibly through surgery where the instruments have not been cleaned properly. Since it is harder for the body to fight infections within this area effectively, at times surgery is required to clean out the infection.

Effects this could have on the use of you knee include not being able to bear minimal amounts of weight on the knee, the knee tends to lock or buckle very frequently and there is a severe pain in the knee.