If you have excess fluid around your knee joint, you may experience stiffness, bruising and pain when you place weight on the knee. In addition, you’ve probably noticed that your affected knee appears larger or puffier than your other knee. The excess fluid on the knee can be the result of trauma such as a ligament tear or overuse injuries or the result of underlying conditions you have such as an infection or arthritis. You can get rid of excess fluid on the knee at home and with treatments from your doctor.
Rest your knee. Avoid activities that bear weight on you knee when you experience symptoms such as pain and inflammation. Instead elevate your knee higher than your heart. You can use pillows for comfort; then use cold therapy. Apply ice to your knee for 15 to 20 minutes approximately every two hours. Instead of a bag of ice, you can also use an iced towel from the freezer or a bag of frozen vegetables. The cold therapy will control the inflammation and swelling. To relieve the pain, take acetaminophen, such as Tylenol. Or use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Motrin or Advil, to relieve pain and inflammation.
Try exercise. You may want to manage your weight to relieve pressure on the knee. Weight loss can minimize the amount of body weight your knees have to support during activities such as walking or sports. If your quadriceps or hamstring muscles are weak, your doctor could recommend that you work with a physical therapist to strengthen your muscles, so they can better support your knees.
Treat the cause of your knee effusion or excess fluid. Your doctor can remove the excess fluid in the knee through an aspiration procedure. The procedure also will relieve the pressure on your joint caused by fluid buildup. After the aspiration procedure, your doctor may inject corticosteroid into your knee joint. This will treat the inflammation in your affected knee. If you suffer from gout, a condition where crystal deposits to form in your joints and cause inflammation, your doctor could prescribe medication. For instance, your doctor can recommend colchicine for acute gout attacks and NSAIDs or allopurinol after an attack ends.
Undergo surgery. If home remedies and treatments do not work, your doctor may look inside your knee joint. The arthroscopic knee surgery is used to examine your knee joint for wear and tear. Also, your doctor can repair damage to your knee. If you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee, you may need additional surgery. Typically your doctor will recommend knee-replacement surgery if you can no longer bear weight on your knee without extreme pain.