Swelling of the soft tissues of the knee joint

The edema of the joints is already unpleasantphenomenon. But most often it is accompanied by much more serious violations of the joint structure and functions. Therefore, the elimination of edema should not be an end in itself - it is necessary to influence its cause.

And for this, these causes (etiology) must first be determined. The development of articular edema can be caused by the following diseases and pathological conditions:

  • Arthritis - inflammatory lesions of joint structures;
  • Associated with arthritis inflammatory processes in articular bags, nearby tendons - bursitis, tendinitis and tendovaginitis;
  • Traumatic injuries of joints and periarticular structures.

Arthrites, in turn, are also polyethological states. Quite simply, many diseases and negative factors lead to their development, among them:

  • Diffuse connective tissue diseases (collagenoses) - rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Previous arthrosis degenerative changes in the joint - the so-called. arthrosis-arthritis;
  • Gout;
  • Previous infections of the urinary tract and intestines are reactive arthritis;
  • Allergies of various origins (insect bites, taking medicines and certain foods);
  • Uremia is a violation of excretion of slag from the body with renal failure.

In fact, any external influence or negative process occurring in our body can lead to joint swelling.

Not only etiology, but also pathogenesis (mechanismdevelopment) of articular edema may be different. Moreover, in each specific clinical case several pathogenetic factors leading to articular puffiness can participate:

  • The accumulation of inflammatory fluid (exudate) inArticular cavity with various infectious processes and perverse immunity reactions - so-called. autoimmune reactions characteristic of the aforementioned collagens.
  • Accumulation of pus. A pyogenic infection can penetrate into a joint with a blood stream during sepsis or enter into it with open traumatic injuries.
  • The accumulation of blood in the joint cavity - hemarthrosis - is also a consequence of the injuries.
  • Swelling of the periarticular soft tissues. With inflammatory and allergic reactions at the local level, some biologically active substances are released, one of which is histamine. These substances increase the permeability of the capillary walls. As a result, the liquid part of the blood, plasma, exits through the capillary wall into the periarticular space.
  • Contusion of soft tissues. The pathogenesis here is about the same as in inflammation. Only here in the appearance of swelling are not responsible for inflammatory reactions, and the mechanical factor - a short-term intensive compression of soft tissues to the deeper bone.

Destructive changes with severe deformation and sclerosis of joint structures can also be accompanied by an increase in joint volume.

Any joints swell. Nevertheless, some diseases are characterized by a specific localization of articular edema. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is manifested by multiple inflammation of small joints, rheumatism - medium and large. Arthrosis-arthritis is largely susceptible to knee joints, and with gout suffer the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe. Although this rule is relatively - many diseases occur with atypical localization of articular inflammation and edema.

Often, but not always, puffiness is combined with such symptoms as:

  • Pain;
  • Local skin temperature increase;
  • Redness of the skin;
  • Reduction of the volume of movements in the joint.


To distinguish, what is caused by an increase in the joint -edema of soft tissues or the accumulation of intra-articular fluid is not difficult. To do this, just press your finger on the joint area. When swelling of soft tissues there is a characteristic trace from the pressure

These local manifestations may be accompanied by fever, general weakness, a disorder of the function of other organs.

Treatment of articular edema depends entirely on itstype and causes of occurrence. The easiest way to remove swelling is a semi-alcohol bandage. It is prepared simply - alcohol mixed with pure water in a proportion of 1: 1. In the resulting solution, you need to moisten a clean gauze napkin, apply to the joint, and top - to bandage. Instead of water, you can use a solution of Furacilin or Etacridine lactate (Rivanol) - this is even more effective. However, these dressings are contraindicated in injuries with damage to the skin.

Traumatic edema is best eliminated bylocal cold impact on the joint. In this capacity, a bubble with ice is quite suitable. Do not apply ice crystals directly to the skin. In any case, the cold, spasmodic capillaries, and thus preventing swelling, is effective in the first day after the injury. In the future, on the contrary, it is necessary to improve local blood circulation and promote the resorption of the pathological focus. To do this, use various externally applied ointments, which include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - Diclofenac, Voltaren, Indomethacin. These drugs have both anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
  • Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -Hydrocortisone, Prednisolone. When applied locally, these preparations not only inhibit inflammation, but also strengthen the capillary wall, and thus eliminate swelling.
  • Local irritants - Finalgon, Apizarthron. Irritating the skin, these drugs reflexively improve local blood circulation and metabolic processes in the joint.

After applying these drugs, the joint areafixed with a bandage or wrapped in a dense cloth. Puffy joints should be kept warm. Nevertheless, active thermal procedures for articular inflammation and edema are categorically contraindicated. And one more important point. If the articular cavity has pathological contents (pus, blood, exudate), it must be removed. Otherwise, all the above measures are not only useless, but also dangerous in terms of complications.


Elastic fabric brace applied to the joint will also reduce the degree of edema

After the acute inflammatory phasepassed, finally eliminate edema will help physiotherapy - magnetotherapy, electrophoresis, ozocerite, paraffin. If chronic articular edema is accompanied by severe irreversible structural changes and functional disorders, resort to various types of operative interventions on the joint. In any case, it should be borne in mind that the elimination of edema in the joint should not be an end in itself. In the foreground should be a comprehensive treatment of diseases that led to swelling. In the course of complex treatment, antibiotics, immunostimulants, antihistamines and many other groups of drugs are used.