WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Knee Effusion (Aftercare Instructions) Care Guide
- Knee Effusion Aftercare Instructions
- En Espanol
Knee effusion is fluid buildup in your knee joint that makes your knee swell and ache. It may be caused by an injury or trauma, such as a knee sprain, or arthritis. Knee effusion may also happen if you exercise too much. It may be painful to bend or straighten your knee, or walk.
Rest your knee:
Do not put weight on your injured leg until directed by your primary healthcare provider. He may tell you to limit your knee movement for a few days, until your swelling and pain decrease. Rest may help prevent further damage to your knee, and help it heal faster. Ask your primary healthcare provider when you may return to your normal daily activities.
Ice your knee:
Wrap a bag of crushed ice in a towel, and put it on your knee as directed. This will help decrease pain and swelling.
Compress your knee:
You may need to wrap an elastic bandage or brace around your knee. A knee wrap will compress (put pressure on) your knee to help decrease swelling. Compression also supports your knee and allows it to heal. Wear your knee wrap for as long as directed. Ask for instructions about how to wrap your knee.
Elevate your knee:
Use pillows to help lift your knee above your heart as you lie down. Keep your knee above your hips when you sit. This may help decrease the swelling.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine may decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Use crutches as directed:
You may need crutches to help you walk while your knee heals. Crutches may also help you keep weight off your knee, and prevent more knee damage. Ask your primary healthcare provider for more information about how to use crutches.
A physical therapist can teach you special exercises that help improve your movement and decrease knee pain. Physical therapy can also help improve your strength and decrease the risk for loss of function in your knee.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or orthopedic specialist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or orthopedic specialist if:
- If gets harder or more painful to straighten your leg at the knee.
- Your pain worsens.
- Your knee weakens or you continue to limp.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your knee is warm, red, more tender to the touch, or you have a fever.
- You have new swelling 12 to 24 hours after your injury.
- Your knee locks or gives way. This may cause you to fall.
- Your feet or toes start to look pale or feel cold.
- You cannot bear weight on your leg, or you have severe pain even after treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.