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Fluid in the knee means that body fluids such as blood, synovial fluid or even pus have accumulated there. These so-called effusions do not belong in the knee and must be treated without fail. Fluid in the knee is usually associated with pain.
Insight into the knee
The knee joint is surrounded by a capsule. It contains so-called synovial fluid. This consists of clear body fluid and serves to "lubricate" the joint. This fluid in the knee is completely normal and also very important. However, if there is too much of it or if it contains blood or pus, it is pathological, the knee swells and usually causes massive pain.
Causes of knee effusion
A knee effusion means an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the knee. The causes of the effusion are inflammation, infections, rheumatic diseases, sports overload, operations and injuries.
The symptoms associated with fluid in the knee include redness, swelling, overheating, knee pain, and restricted mobility. Often the knee cannot be bent properly.
Inflammation in the knee
Inflammation in the knee is usually accompanied by fluid that collects in the joint. Knee arthritis is an inflammation of the knee. This should not be confused with osteoarthritis in which there is a degenerative and no inflammatory disease. However, arthritis can develop from osteoarthritis. Bacterial inflammation of the knee is also possible, which in any case should be taken very seriously. Gout is also one of the potential causes.
Purulent arthritis can sometimes develop very seriously and lead to the destruction of the cartilage. In addition, the germs can spread throughout the body, which can be life-threatening. If a knee joint is destroyed too much, an artificial joint may be required.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammation that often occurs on both halves of the body at the same time. Since this disease is not completely curable, those affected suffer from chronic pain, which occurs more or less strongly.
Fluid in the knee can also be triggered by viruses or fungi. The viruses responsible for this include hepatitis, rubella or mumps viruses. Fungi that can be to blame are yeasts, for example.
The knee has so-called bursa in its vicinity. These serve as protection and cushion against excessive stress. The bursa ignite due to permanent stress or pressure, which leads to swelling and fluidity in the knee. Other causes of a knee joint effusion are overloading and incorrect loading.
Damage to the meniscus, a cruciate ligament tear, the tear of inner or outer ligaments, a bruise or sprain - all of this can lead to fluid in the knee. Likewise, fluid accumulation in the knee is often noted after knee surgery.
Various diagnostic procedures are used to make a correct diagnosis of fluid in the knee. This includes a detailed medical history first. The following questions are important here: What is the pain, when does it occur, how long has it been, has there been a trigger, are there other illnesses. Then the knee is usually examined for mobility and function. Most of the time, additional imaging methods such as MRI, CT, ultrasound and X-ray are used. The knee may need to be punctured. This relieves this and the liquid that is withdrawn can be checked for pathogens if suspected.
The treatment methods depend on the underlying disease. Occasionally, the fluid in the knee must be removed by puncture. Anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to fight inflammation. The affected leg must be raised and the joint possibly immobilized.
In order not to get any fluid in the knee at all, sports should be carried out that do not strain the knees too much. Likewise, in everyday life and at work, care must be taken to avoid incorrect loads. First symptoms should be taken seriously and a doctor should be consulted for clarification.
Naturopathy has many remedies available that can help with knee disorders associated with fluid in the knee. So the Schüssler Salt No. 3 helps with inflammation, No. 4 potassium chloratum has a positive effect on the mucous membrane and No. 8 sodium chloratum ensures a balanced fluid balance or counteracts the effusion. Homeopathy uses remedies such as Sticta pulmonaria, Bryonia alba, Rhus toxicodendron and Apis mellifica.
The devil's claw helps especially in the case of existing arthrosis, i.e. a chronic illness. As a preventative measure, it ensures that no effusion is formed at all. The nettle is also a recommended plant when there is fluid in the knee. Both plants are available as tea or in tablet form.
In naturopathic practice, acupuncture is often used for a knee effusion. The reflexology massage is also a tried and tested remedy for diseases of the knee.
If there is fluid in the knee, the following home remedies can provide relief. The well-known curd wrap pulls the inflammation out of the joint. For this, a little lean curd is spread in the middle of a cotton cloth, the other two ends are closed and the thin side of the cloth is wrapped around the knee. The wrap can remain there until it is no longer cool.
What also takes away the swelling is ice. This is packed in a cloth and placed on the knee. - but not longer than 20 minutes. The ice cream application can be repeated several times a day. But please never without a cloth, the ice must not touch the skin.
A cabbage wrap (savoy or white cabbage) also does a good job. To do this, the middle ribs are removed and the leaves are then rolled flat with a rolling pin until juice emerges and then placed on the aching knee and fixed with a cloth. The envelope can remain there until the cabbage leaves are dry.
If the cause is osteoarthritis, massaging the thighs with a tennis ball can help. Stretching is also important. A physical therapist can show the right exercises.
Celery is known as soup flavoring. However, a tea can be made from this vegetable that has an anti-inflammatory effect. To do this, the celeriac is cut into small pieces, placed in a pan with cold water and boiled. The strained water is the finished tea, of which two cups are drunk daily, sweetened with a little honey. The tea is also diuretic, flatulent, helps with stomach weakness and has a detoxifying effect.
Willow bark tea is anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving. A teaspoon of the sliced willow bark is mixed with 250 ml of cold water, boiled for about five minutes and then strained. Three cups a day are recommended.
In the case of a knee disease in connection with fluid, a diet that is mainly basic is recommended. This means that everything animal should be massively reduced. Sugar and white flour should also be avoided. A liquid intake of two to three liters of still water should not be forgotten. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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