Water on the Knee Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention Reviews for 2022

If you have never come across this term; water on the knee, you might be wondering what it means. Water on the knee is simply a general term that is used to refer to the excess fluid that accumulates in or even around your knee joint. The correct medical term for this is an knee effusion.

What causes water on the knee? The causes of this condition are many. They include trauma, overuse injuries, or even an underlying disease or health condition. However, we will look at that in detail later on in this post.

More importantly, to diagnose the main cause of water in your knee, the doctor needs to obtain a sample of this fluid and to run a test for any infection, disease, or injury. It is only when your doctor has determined the underlying cause of this condition in your knee that the appropriate treatment can start.

There are several water on the knee symptoms and signs.

The most common symptoms include the following.(hyperextended knee symptoms)

Knee Swelling

Swelling is easy to notice. When it happens, the flesh around your kneecap will often puff up noticeably. Because of this, the swelling will be much more apparent as compared especially if you compare the affected knee to the normal one.


This is also a common symptom for knees affected by the water on the knee condition. And here is how you will notice it. In case your knee joint has excess fluid, you may be unable to bend or even straighten your leg.

Knee Pain

Sometimes the knee might be very painful even when you don’t stretch it out. This, however, depends on the cause of fluid buildup. If you find the knee extremely painful that you can’t even bear the weight then it an effusion.

Water on the Knee Causes

What causes water on the knee? Water on the knee like I mentioned above can be caused by several factors. These factors might range from traumatic injuries to even diseases and certain conditions. Nonetheless, the most common ones include the following.


Injuries might occur anywhere around your body. However, any injury that causes a certain amount of damage to your knee can easily cause such painful buildup and eventually excess joint fluid.

Examples of such traumatic injuries that can easily cause certain fluid buildup in or around your knee joint include

  • Broken bones
  • Meniscus Tear
  • Ligament Tear
  • Overuse injuries


In addition to that, underlying diseases and certain conditions can also cause effusion. Such are the diseases that might produce any form of fluid buildup in or around your knee joint. These conditions include.

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Bursitis
  • Cysts
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Tumors

What Are the Risk Factors?

Like causes, water on the knee has so many risk factors. The most common factors include the following.

Age: For people who are 55 years and above, water on the knee is often a common occurrence. That’s why at this age you should exercise more.

Sports: If you participate a lot in sports, you can also sustain this condition. This is because sport involves sudden changes of direction that are likely to lead to water-on-the-knee-causing injuries.

Obesity: You must have anticipated this by now. Obesity or excess weight will often put additional stress on your knee joints. When this happens, your knees will experience high rates of wear-and-tear. The wear and tear will eventually cause damage to the knee bone – osteoarthritis and eventually lead to this condition too.

Prevention for Water on the Knee

There is so many ‘water on the knee’ home treatment remedies including OTC medications. However, water on the knee is normally the result of chronic health conditions or even traumatic injury.

So to prevent this condition, it is important to work with your doctor to manage the underlying condition or the traumatic injury that is causing it.

For example if you have chronic joint conditions such as osteoarthritis or even rheumatoid arthritis you can talk to your doctor to prescribe medication. The medication will address the underlying condition and consequently address the effusion.

Sometimes the doctor might recommend that you wear a knee brace due to a prior injury. This can also work. The most important thing is that you strengthen your knee and thigh muscles. You can exercise and engage in light weight-bearing stress such as water aerobics.


If left untreated, water on the knee will easily limit your mobility. The swelling which is usually caused by infection will become increasingly painful and eventually destroy the knee joint. Addressing the cause will help in terminating the fluid retention.

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