Knee pain and swelling can have several causes, and it’s essential to determine the underlying reason to provide the most appropriate treatment. Here are some common causes of knee pain and swelling:
- Injuries: Injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures can cause knee pain and swelling. ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and meniscus tears are common knee injuries that cause significant pain and swelling.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage between the bones to wear down, resulting in knee pain and swelling.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, including the knees.
- Bursitis: Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints. When the bursae in the knee become inflamed, it can cause pain and swelling.
- Tendinitis: Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendons that attach the muscles to the bones. When the tendons in the knee become inflamed, it can cause pain and swelling.
- Gout: Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the blood. The uric acid forms crystals in the joints, including the knees, causing pain and swelling.
- Infections: Infections can also cause knee pain and swelling, especially if the joint becomes infected. Symptoms of an infected knee joint may include pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected area.
If you are experiencing knee pain and swelling, it’s important to seek medical attention. Your doctor may perform a physical exam, order imaging tests (such as X-rays or an MRI), and conduct blood tests to determine the underlying cause. Treatment options may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) therapy, pain medication, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.