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Chronic Swelling

Clinical Overview

Reviewed by Dr. Jack Farr

Also known as "Water on the Knee," chronic swelling refers to any long-term increase in the size of the knee joint. This may, in fact, may be from the soft tissue or from fluid inside the knee joint. Swelling can be indicative of a more serious underlying condition of the knee, such as cartilage, tendon or ligament injury, arthritis, or internal bleeding. Swelling has many causes and it is important to have a specific diagnosis to guide specific treatment. Swelling of any type at the knee deserves evaluation by a knee expert.

Causes


  • Injury or trauma, including tendon, cartilage or ligament injuries, muscle tears from athletic or automobile accidents.
  • Arthritis
  • Gout or Pseudo-gout
  • Loose bodies floating in the knee
  • Infection
  • Internal bleeding
  • Fracture of one of the bones in the knee
  • Tumor
  • Any source of irritation in or about the knee

Last updated: Jan-01-09

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