Knee swelling is a fairly common condition that involves the build up of fluid within or around the knee joint. In most cases, the tried and true regimen of ice, compression, elevation, and rest allows the swelling to resolve naturally. Chronic or severe knee swelling, however, is a potentially painful and functionally debilitating condition that may not respond to a conservative approach.

Fortunately, a simple procedure offered at the Knee Surgery Center of Excellence in Beverly Hills, known as knee drainage, can provide rapid pain relief and help determine the cause of fluid build up. If you are experiencing chronic swelling in your knee, drainage may be the most effective option to get you back to performing your daily activities pain-free. To schedule your initial consultation with a Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon, you may contact us by calling (888) 429-6865.

Why is My Knee Swollen?

Acute knee swelling often occurs in response to some form of injury to the joint. Tears and strains of ligaments in the knee (ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL), as well as a torn meniscus can create rapid fluid buildup as your body attempts to repair the damage. A swollen knee may also be the indirect result of damage to an auxiliary tissue, such as the hamstring or quadriceps tendon. When these structures become injured, gravity drives excess fluid down into the knee joint where it accumulates.

Chronic knee swelling is most commonly caused by arthritis, a condition in which protective cartilage gradually degrades. Overtime, this damage leads to inflammation, fluid buildup and painful bone-on-bone movements. Knee arthritis is classified as either osteoarthritis (age-related “wear and tear”), rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory) or post-traumatic arthritis, and can affect individuals of all ages. Left untreated, irritated cartilage and bone will cause increasingly painful and restrictive swelling.

What Does Knee Drainage Involve?

Knee drainage is an in-office therapeutic technique used to remove excess fluid from the joint space. After numbing the knee with a local anesthetic, a needle is inserted under the kneecap and fluid is drawn out from within the joint space. By releasing pressure on the joint, this simple in-office procedure can provide patients with a significant and immediate reduction in knee pain and stiffness. After the excess fluid has been removed, our orthopedic surgeons may administer a steroid injection to the knee to help prevent future swelling.

Treatments for Knee Arthritis

Knee drainage is only one of the ways an orthopedic surgeon can relieve swelling and other symptoms of arthritis. The type and severity of arthritis symptoms, as well as the speed at which they develop, can vary from person to person and change over time. Therefore, arthritis typically requires an individualized and flexible treatment approach. In cases of minimal joint swelling and inflammation, suggested therapies may include:

  • Lifestyle modification
  • Exercise & physical therapy
  • Bracing device
  • Anti-inflammatory medication & steroidal injections

When conservative therapies fail to relieve symptoms of arthritis, surgery may be the most effective option. The team of renowned orthopedic surgeons at the Knee Surgery Center of Excellence are skilled in the most advanced procedures used to treat knee arthritis, including:

If you are suffering from chronic knee swelling or limited mobility associated with knee arthritis, don’t hesitate to consult an experienced knee surgeon.

Contact a Los Angeles Orthopedic Surgeon

The Knee Surgery Center of Excellence boasts a team of renowned orthopedic surgeons who are leading experts in a variety of advanced knee procedures. From state-of-art facilities and equipment to a comfortable and private atmosphere, our goal at the Knee Surgery Center of Excellence is to provide each patient with individualized, high-quality healthcare.

For more information on knee drainage or to schedule your initial consultation, you may call (888) 429-6865 or fill out our online contact form.

Next, learn about the other knee procedures we offer.