Connecting the femur and the tibia, which are the two longest bones in the human body is the knee joint. The knee joint, besides being the most complicated, is also the largest. This is why it can bear the weight of the head, the torso, and the thighs, while providing lithe locomotion. The knee is wrapped by the joint capsule, which, in turn, creates the joint space. This space is filled up with bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that act as slippery planes and which aid in reducing friction of the tendons.
There are instances when fluids accumulate in this area. This is more commonly referred to as swollen knee or knee effusion.
Swollen Knee Causes
There are several causes of knee effusions, and all of these can be traced back to trauma, overuse, or systemic diseases. Below are some of the most common causes of swollen knees:
- Of all major knee ligaments, the anterior cruciate is the most commonly injured. This type of injury is common to both athletes and non-athletes. It debilitates the patient’s locomotion and makes it hard for the patient to do even routine activities. A knee effusion develops 24 hours after the patient reports the torn ligament.
- Osteoarthritis is predominantly thought of as a ‘wear and tear’ process. Swelling of the knee happens when there is gradual degradation of the gristle, the articular cartilage that covers the surfaces of the knee joints. This can either be hereditary or post-traumatic.
- Gout occurs when there is an excessive deposit of sodium urate around the joints. This causes knee effusion if the urate settles within the knee joints.
- Infections. This is a common occurrence, especially after surgery or if there is systemic infection that reaches the joints.
Swollen Knee Remedy
There are quite a number of ways to cure swollen knees. A patient can either take the natural route or use drugs instead. Below are some well-known home remedies:
- If caused by either injury or trauma, patients suffering from mild knee effusion are encouraged to practice the I.C.E method. This stands for ice, compress, and elevate. The patient should get off the injured leg, elevate it, and apply a cold compress to the affected joint. Cold compress should be applied at least 20 minutes.
- The patient should apply a compression wrap around the affected joint and keep it elevated for as long as possible. Use the ice compress again after four hours. If an ice pack is not readily available, a pack of frozen vegetables would also work.