What is the best way to get rid of fluid on the knee?

Knee bursitis pain, tenderness, and swelling can be hard to manage. How do you find the best treatment?

It depends on what’s causing your problems. Your knees each have a bursa sac that’s filled with fluid. Sometimes they get inflamed or infected.

Inflamed Bursa Treatment

Try these simple steps first:

Rest: Take it easy for a few days. Don’t do anything that seems to make your symptoms worse. You can still do low-impact or gentle exercises like a light walk or stationary bike ride.

Ice: Put an ice pack on your knee about 3 to 4 times a day. You can also use a bag of frozen veggies like peas or corn. Leave it on for 20 minutes at a time.

Medicate: Take a mild, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

Elevate: Prop up the sore knee while you rest on the couch. This may ease the swelling.

When you sleep, try not to lie on the side with the inflamed knee. This may ease pressure on the sore joint. You can also put a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side.

If You Need Stronger Treatment

Your doctor might try:

Aspiration: They use a needle to drain the fluid out of your knee. They can do this in their office. You won’t need to go to the hospital. It might hurt for a few days afterward. You’ll also wear a knee wrap to keep swelling down.

Steroid injection: The doctor can also give you a steroid shot in the swollen knee to ease inflammation. It’s a stronger dose of the medicine than you could take as a pill. It should work quickly, but you your knee might be painful and swollen for a few days.

Physical therapy: Your doctor can refer you to a physical therapist. You’ll learn stretches and exercises to make your knee muscles stronger and the joint more flexible. The therapist can also fit you with a knee brace or sleeve to give you more support and control swelling.

Infected Bursa Treatment

If your doctor sees signs of infection, they’ll prescribe antibiotics. If they don’t do the trick, they can also use a needle to drain the fluid.

If Nothing Helps

When bursitis doesn’t respond to treatment or flares up all the time, it could be time for surgery to remove the bursa. You and your doctor will decide if this is the right choice for you. It’s usually the last resort.

Joint aspiration is a procedure to remove fluid from the space around a joint using a needle and syringe. This is usually done under a local anesthetic to relieve swelling and/or to obtain fluid for analysis to diagnose a joint disorder or problem.

Joint aspiration is most often done on the knee. However, fluid can also be removed from other joints, such as the hip, ankle, shoulder, elbow, or wrist.

Other related procedures that may be used to help diagnose joint problems include X-ray, bone scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT scan), arthroscopy, and arthrography. Please see these procedures for additional information.

Why might I need a joint aspiration?

Joint aspiration may be done to diagnose and assist in the treatment of joint disorders and/or problems. By analyzing the fluid, the following conditions may be diagnosed:

  • Gout

  • Various types of arthritis

  • Joint infection

Joint aspiration can also be done to remove a large collection of fluid around a joint. Sometimes bursitis (inflammation of the bursa) causes fluid to collect near a joint. Removing the fluid will decrease the pressure, relieve pain, and improve movement of the joint. Sometimes, a medicine is injected following removal of the fluid to help treat tendonitis or bursitis.

There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend a joint aspiration.

What are the risks of a joint aspiration?

As with any surgical procedure, complications can happen. Some possible complications may include:

  • Discomfort at the aspiration site

  • Bruising at the aspiration site

  • Swelling at the aspiration site

  • Infection at the aspiration site

There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure.

How do I get ready for a joint aspiration?

  • Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you and offer you the chance to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.

  • You will be asked to sign a consent form that gives your permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if something is not clear.

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are sensitive to or are allergic to any medicines, latex, tape, and anesthetic agents (local and general).

  • Tell your healthcare provider of all medicines (prescribed and over-the-counter) and herbal supplements that you are taking.

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medicines, aspirin, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. It may be necessary for you to stop these medicines before the procedure.

  • If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, you should notify your healthcare provider.

  • Generally, no prior preparation, such as fasting or sedation is needed.

  • Based on your medical condition, your healthcare provider may request other specific preparation.

What happens during a joint aspiration?

A joint aspiration may be done on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your healthcare provider’s practices.

Generally, a joint aspiration procedure follows this process:

  1. You will be asked to remove clothing and will be given a gown to wear.

  2. You will be positioned so that the healthcare provider can easily reach the joint that is to be aspirated.

  3. The skin over the joint aspiration site will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution.

  4. If a local anesthetic is used, you will feel a needle stick when the anesthetic is injected. This may cause a brief stinging sensation.

  5. The healthcare provider will insert the needle through the skin into the joint. You may feel some discomfort or pressure.

  6. The healthcare provider will remove the fluid by drawing it into a syringe that is attached to the needle.

  7. The needle will be removed and a sterile bandage or dressing will be applied.

  8. The fluid sample will be sent to the lab for examination.

What happens after a joint aspiration?

Once you are home, it is important for you to keep the joint aspiration site clean and dry. Leave the bandage in place for as long as instructed by your healthcare provider.

The aspiration site may be tender or sore for a few days after the joint aspiration procedure. Take a pain reliever for soreness as recommended by your healthcare provider. Aspirin or certain other pain medicines may increase the chance of bleeding. Be sure to take only recommended medicines.

Notify your healthcare provider to report any of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Redness, swelling, bleeding, or other drainage from the aspiration site

  • Increased pain around the aspiration site

Your healthcare provider may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.

How can I naturally drain fluid from my knee?

Try massage. Massaging the knee may help fluid drain from the joint. You can give yourself a gentle self-massage or get a massage from a professional. For a self-massage, you can choose to apply lubrication to your knee with castor oil.

What is the fastest way to get rid of fluid on the knee?

How to Get Rid of Fluid on the Knee:.
You may be able to manage this condition at home..
Applying the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) can reduce pain and swelling..
Stay off your knee as much as you can..
Over-the-counter pain relievers may also relieve your symptoms..

Will fluid in knee go away?

Often once the cause of the swollen joint gets treated, the swelling goes away. However, not all causes of a knee joint effusion are curable. For many, treatment consists of managing your symptoms instead of eliminating them. There are several ways healthcare providers manage your swollen joint.

Is walking good for fluid on knee?

If you have mild to moderate pain in your knees due to osteoarthritis, walking and other exercise helps mobilize your joint fluid and lubricate the joints. You should walk and do other exercises that move your knee joints.