Knee > Water on the Knee > Treatments


Home Recovery

Your doctor may recommend rest to ease the pain and swelling associated with water on the knee (knee effusion). You may want to follow the routine known as R.I.C.E., which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation:

   Rest – your doctor will likely suggest that you take it easy for several days, so it may be wise to clear your schedule of any physical activities. You probably should not do the activity that caused the injury.

   Ice – initially, your doctor will likely recommend applying ice packs to the knee for about 20 minutes every three or four hours. You will probably need to do this for two or three days or until the pain subsides, and you may need to do it after exercise or activities.

   Compression – an elastic wrap or bandage will compress the knee and help keep the swelling down.

   Elevation – elevating your knee will help reduce swelling by dispersing excess fluid away from your injured area.

Anti-inflammatories such as aspirin or ibuprofen also may be recommended or prescribed. They will help reduce the swelling and hasten the healing of the tendon. You should be able to gauge your knee's progress as the swelling subsides. During this time, you may want to avoid activities that include physical contact.

Prevention [top]

Because water on the knee (knee effusion) is usually caused by overuse that irritates the knee and causes excess fluid and possibly pain, avoiding overuse is the best way to prevent a reoccurrence of the problem. Wearing a kneepad while doing physical activities, especially if they involve kneeling, can also help. Should symptoms of water on the knee recur, your physician may decide that a more aggressive approach is necessary.

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