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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Persistent Knee Swelling

Okay -- since it's not worse in the morning, chronic inflammation is less likely -- so, you could have a type of arthritis that is relatively non-inflammatory (such as osteoarthritis), or your knee swelling could be unrelated to the joint. For example, bursitis or a skin infection could cause swelling around the knee without affecting the joint itself.

If you did describe persistent "morning stiffness" (worse pain or stiffness when you first get up lasting at least 30 minutes), an inflammatory joint disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis would be a real possibility, especially if you had multiple painful, swollen joints.

Now we'll move onto another question about the location of the swelling, because swelling on top of the knee cap can indicate bursitis rather than arthritis.

Do you have swelling confined to the kneecap (that is, just in front of the knee)?

Yes, the swelling is confined to the kneecap.

No. I have no swelling confined to the kneecap.

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