Does fluid on the knee ever go away and not return?

by Shannon
(Washington, DC)

About 8 weeks ago I twisted and sprained my knee getting off a bus in high heels. I had a large bruise on the inside of my left knee and it hurt for many, many weeks. The fluid is still there and gets worse when I walk for a long time or do anytype of weight-bearing exercise. Do you know if this will ever stop? Is fluid a sign that the injury is still trying to heal?

Thank you!

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Jun 26, 2008
Fluid generally means tissue irritation...
by: Bart - SII

If you are getting swelling in your knee after being up on it, then you probably have some type of tissue irritation within the knee joint or patella femoral joint that is causing this.

Is the swelling localized to one spot, or is it the whole knee that is swollen?

If the swelling is localized, it could be scar tissue formation after the initial injury. If the whole knee swells up, it could be an irritation of the joint lining, or the meniscus. Did you have it evaluated after your initial injury - MRI, or other clinical tests? Does it pop, click, or seem to catch when you are weight bearing?

Continued swelling is common for several weeks after an injury, but if it persists, I would recommend getting it looked at to make sure there isn't any damage to the internal joint structures.

Hope this helps - comment back with other questions.

Jun 26, 2008
Response to Bart; thank you!
by: Anonymous

Thank you Bart for your help. It is localized, sometimes all the pain comes from within the joint and sometimes it comes up from right under my kneecap.

I do need to tell you I didn't rest as I should have right after the injury, infact, it was the first four weeks I just kept going and going trying to deal with the pain and not resting. Do you think that may have lead to scar tissue?

My doctor won't really tell me what I did to my knee and when I see him he just tells me to keep taking an anti-inflamatory. I am scared I am not going to heal and get back to normal. I am only 26 and want to have my very active lifestyle back and be healthy as I was before I was injured.

Jul 24, 2008
Fluid formation in knee
by: SP

Hi Bart,

My Problem is also similar to Shannon. I am of 33/M, weight 67

History: As I remember, I have not got any knee injury in past 15 years. I got fluid formation before 15 years in my right knee and it was drained at that time and after 4 month I came to my normal activity.

Present: 6 Month ago, I had to use ladder many times in a day to go up-down in a construction area of my home for around 7-8 days. I also felt inconvenient using it but I had no way. I was 10 kg overweight. But confirming you never got any scratch or injury in my any part of body. My both knee swelled and doctor confirm that "water in knee" and not a serious one. Both kneecap were filled with water and could not be bend.
Doctor gave my Etrick (may be Etrik) 90 and Osteoacid 20 mg(each 1 tab daily) and also advised to use daily routine. After 10 days, fluid gone and no swelling was there but leaving a little pain at that time. Now since then aleast 10-15 times swelling has formed and gone and not finding the stable condition. Water swells almost the whole kneecap.
When I take Etrik for 5-10 days depending upon the swelling, knee gets dried and leave pain and tremendous stiffness in morning in my both knee. Since these medicine are pain killer, I do not want to take it for long time.

Xray of knee tells bones are perfect.

Please read my below question and kindly advice.
Presently doctor says it is "bilateral knee effusion" and "Seronegative arthritis"

* Whether "water in knee" harms the bone
* Pressure of water may damage the joint.
* Should I take complete rest or can walk for max how much?
* Should I use knee Cap?
* Should I think it as a normal body response (as doctor says) and should not worry at all.
* How I can make it stable so that water in knee could not be formed?
* In what ideal condition, person can get recovered fully. Can you please provide contact no of any recovered person?

Test Result:
Arthiritis profile : negative
ESR output : 28 ( 1-10)
Anti Ds DNA (double stranded DNA) BY ELISA 3.1 (Negative)
Rh? Factor : negative (explain you later)
Anti ????? : negative (explain you later)

Present treatment: Taking Wysolone 10Mg twice daily
Heating therapy: Heating knee with hot water twice 30 min
Heating knee by infrared lamp 1 or 2 time 30 min
Mobilization: Avoiding walking/stairs, driving bike for 30 km (not getting strain driving bike and never cause problem)
Weight: 2 kg underweight (67 kg)
Not doing any exercise or physiotherapy (as per dotor

Jul 25, 2008
Fluid formation in knee
by: SP

Hi, Please also find some test results

result - negative

RHEUMATOID Factor , result - negative

Please ask for more detail if you require.

Thanks and Best Regards

Jul 25, 2008
Have you seen an orthopedist?
by: Bart - SII

Have you been seeing an orthopedist, or just your regular family doctor. I would recommend a referral to an orthopedist if you haven't had one already. An anti-inflammatory is a good idea, but they should be able to tell you what is going on with your knee - general practice physicians usually don't have a great background in orthopedics, so they tell you to "give it time" and see if it gets better. Obviously it hasn't.

You could have developed some scar tissue, or you could have developed some compensation patterns that are continuing to stress your patella femoral joint.

A visit to an ortho, and perhaps even a few physical therapy visits may help you get to the bottom of your continued swelling and pain.

As always, comment back with other questions.

Jul 25, 2008
For SP...
by: Bart - SII

Thanks for your questions:

* Whether "water in knee" harms the bone
* Pressure of water may damage the joint.
* Should I take complete rest or can walk for max how much?
* Should I use knee Cap?
* Should I think it as a normal body response (as doctor says) and should not worry at all.
* How I can make it stable so that water in knee could not be formed?

Swelling within the joint can become problematic if it lasts for long periods of time. The biggest problem is leading to degeneration of the articular cartilage, or a softening of the cartilage, as well as inability to fully bend the knee due to pressure. The actually pressure will likely not damage the joint.

As far as activities, avoiding things that seem to increase your swelling is a good idea, as well as activities that cause significant increases in pain. For walking, if you can do this without causing significant increases in pain or swelling, then it should be alright.

Occasional swelling of the joints is not usually something to worry about unless your blood tests suggest that you may be suffering from a systemic problem such as rhuematoid arthritis - which your tests did not show.

The Etrik is an anti-inflammatory, not a pain reliever (although by reducing inflammation it will reduce pain) and seems to be working well for eliminating your swelling.

One question - are you taking the Wysolone for treatment of your knee swelling, or for some other condition? One of the side effects of this drug is fluid and electrolyte disturbance - which could possibly contribute to your knee swelling - I would discuss this with your physician.

I hope this helps -


Jul 30, 2008
Fluid formation in knee
by: SP

Hi Bart
Thanks for update. I really appreciate your answers and it has given me a great relief.

I am getting treatment from a orthopedic surgeon who is a joint specialist.

Question - are you taking the Wysolone for treatment of your knee swelling, or for some other condition?
Answer - I am not using it for the swelling. I have no exact idea about it but I think doctor has prescribed it for the pain, stiffness and for relaxation. As per him, at this stage it is the best he is giving me. Presently taking Wysolone 10 mg 1 daily and my condition is as below.

Present Condition:
I have stiffness (not extreme), little pain, and full swelling from 10 days (can bend nee upto 90 degree).
I can walk slowly without/little pain but legs seem to be very heavy.
I feel problem standing in one place. I feel pain in knee when I stand up from the chair.
I have recovered around 30 percent in one month.

I have few more questions
* Should I take Etrik 90 whenever swelling/fluid forms (it really remove the swelling completely. Even sometime I feel problem is over)?
* Is there any side effect of using Etrik 90 for the long term use?
* Should I use crepe bandage/kneecap to support knee when I walk?
* If I do not take medicine and follow the ideal condition like taking rest and do not take exertions, fluid will go completely. Has it happened with anybody in your knowledge? I am asking this because I want to remove swelling without medicine to avoid side effect of medicine. Doctor also says let the swelling go automatically.

Please suggest me for any clinical/pathological/or any other test that can explain the actual root cause of the problem more closely that can help for treatment.

Thanks and Best Regards

Aug 11, 2008
Fluid formation in knee
by: SP

One more question.
*Is my case converting to Arthritis or it is a start of Arthritis?


Nov 20, 2009
Old Knee Injury
by: Jon


I have a couple of questions about a knee injury I sufferred one year ago. While skateboarding, I fell directly onto my knee--almost on the knee cap itself, but more on the inside part of the knee right beside the cap. I didn't twist my knee in any way, but it was the first thing to hit the ground. It became very swollen and painful, and I was almost unable to walk for some time. The swelling lasted for weeks, but it eventually went away, along with the pain. Now, over a year later, there seems to be some fluid built up around my knee--not on the side that hit the ground, but on the other side of the knee cap. It also feels as though there is some fluid behind the knee cap itself. I have frequent clicking in my knee now, but I don't have any pain while standing or walking. Basically I was hoping you would be able to give me some advice as to weather or not the fluid is dangerous, and if there is anything I can do to make sure my knee is in good health. Stupidly, I didn't visit a doctor following my fall (I had hit my knee many times before and assumed it was just bruising from the impact and that it would go away in time). If I go to a doctor now, will they be able to tell me if any serious damage was done, such as a small fracture? Is there anything I should be particularly concerned about? What kind of doctor should I see? Are there any exercises I can do to strengthen my knee and prevent arthritis? Thank you very much.

Feb 18, 2010
similar situation
by: Brad


I know this is in response to an older comment, but I have been suffering from a situation for the past 2 years that sounds almost identical to yours. Without any history of a serious injury, my knees swell up considerably quite often. I have a lot of "water on the knee" above both knee caps right at the base of my quadriceps. It's so full of fluid some days it's hard to bend and walk. I've been tested for numerous diseases and all came back negative. Doctor's best guess is seronegative arthritis. Did you ever find a way to get rid of the fluid without meds? So far prednisone is the only thing that gets rid of the fluid completely, but I can't do that long-term. If anyone else has any experience or similar situations with this I would love to hear about it.


Jun 16, 2010
similar issue
by: Rod

I hit a wall with my knee going pretty fast on a skateboard and my knee hit the wall on the top right side of my knee. Now I have what appears to be swelling but more juicy and ithought it was water on the knee. It doesnt hurt at all, but when I try to do anything strenuous my knee gets sore, but that could be from the inital injury. I hit it about two weeks ago. I wanted to know if i should get it drain or just leave it and hope it goes away?


Jul 05, 2010
knee injury
by: Anonymous

I have had a swollen and 'locked' knee for 10 weeks now and am still on crutches. I do yoga and overstretched my knee, it felt 'spongy' for a while walking up and down stairs but I carried on also I walked on it for miles. MRI and xray said normal.

I am getting no answers from physio but he has referred me to rheumotology, I am on a waiting list. Is my case serious enough to ask for a quicker appointment and is it normal for swelling and pain to last this long.

Thank you

Sep 22, 2010
Water in my knee
by: Anonymous

One day I noticed water in my knee. It supprised me because there is no pain in my knee. I can walk normally and bend. I am hoping it goes away naturally. Its been 2 days. I would like to wait another 10 days to evaluate. Is it risky to do that? I have no pain. Please let me know what I can do to help this water go away.

I am using Ice and elevate my knee when I am watching TV. Should I use Hot water instead?

Any over the counter medicine I can use to help?

Sep 29, 2010
swollen right knee for 18 months now!
by: Ryan


three years ago I tore my ACL, I got it repaired. However a year after that I tore my meniscus and had to get part of it cut out. A year and 6 months on the swelling has still not gone down. I have had a review appointment with the surgeon but he said theres nothing more he can do. Any ideas?

Nov 23, 2010
Knee problem
by: Rita

Hi I can relate to all your comments.

I have swelling on my knee making it a rather funny shape. There is a lot of fluid build up but I have had it for aboout 6 weeks now.

Initially i could not bend the knee without pain, so avoided doing so... after about 4 weeks with no sign of the fluid going away, i went to see my
GP who manupulated my leg, this way and that way and suggested just for precaution i go for an X Ray....I work at the local hospital but still have not been yet!!

Anyway out walking the dog last week I tripped and fell head long onto the front of my knee... i now have bruise and still all the fluid.

I have been sitting with ice on every night and been putting deep ice gel on it but still it wont go away... I think the fluid it starting to go down to my calf a little now too.

I did not want to take the anti-inflammatory pils the GP gave me coz of all the listed side effects!! They were endless and I thought i would end up with more than a swollen knee. Ihave been taking a natural substitute 'devils claw' but nothing noted yet on less fluid though.

I may go for an x ray tommorow but i wish it would just go away... the pain is a lot less now too.

Dec 11, 2010
A Tissue Issue
by: Cid

I am dealing with chronic fluid build up on the knee in what the dr calls the bursa. Had surgery to help ease trouble from a knee replacement and it has been one thing after another since. Mine seems to be tissue that will not heal and fluid "leaks" into the joint area . Have had it drained multiple times up to 120cc taken out. I am now going to be in cast for three months to prevent any bending of the joint. It apears that mine is all about the tissue not an injury from a fall or sports. Any thoughts?

Mar 02, 2011
by: Anonymous

im 12 years old and one time i was in the park
i slid down a poll and when got down i banged my
knee and some time i am just walking and i fall
on the floor and gets sallowness when walk a long time help i herts alot ( sorry for my spelling)

Oct 09, 2011
fluid in my knee & tightness when I bend it.
by: Monica

On September 24 I was playing with my son And I turned my upper body & my right leg stayed straight I then felt pain to where I feel to the grown. I tried to get up but could not stand on it & I also got light headed & Vomited as well. I got x-rays & no sign of anything broken. Had an MRI done last week on Wednesday & I'm still waiting for the results. I know I have fluids in it because when I shake my leg it moves like jello. And it's also hard for me to bend it all the way back. My question is, Is it bad to have fluids in the knee for a long period & should I get it out Immediately? Thanks!

Jan 18, 2012
water on the knee NEW
by: Anonymous

Ok I played soccer over three years ago and walked on my cleats on solid ground and there is a myth about getting water in the knees and I'm not sure if its true. I have had the same pain in the same knee on the outside of my left knee. I've never had it checked but it came out of playinbg soccer. My question is can water on the knee go away even with no treatmeant atfter years?


Oct 01, 2012
My right knee is swelling NEW
by: Christine

Hi,My right knee is swelling and have a problem to walk on stairs. I went to see my family doctor and she said there is a fluid in my knee. She recommended me to take the generic for motrin(600mg) 3 times a day with the food. i have been taken the tablets for 4 days already Yes.the pain is go away but the swelling still there. I also advised me to take the x ray. I really do not want to take the pain killer for a long time use. Shall I still take the tablets? Is there any other options that can get rid of swelling?

Oct 05, 2012
injury at work NEW
by: nina

hi i fell down on 10 sep 2012,on my left side hurt my head ,shoulder and wrist and left knee,in ultra sound reprot saw some fluid in my shoulder.Its hurting me a lot and i have pain and in ear and diffrent sounds(ringing),in MRI report of head is negtive. what do i have to do now? if someone can help me ,i will be thankfull.

Oct 22, 2012
Same thing NEW
by: Anonymous

I have the same thing but i hurt in in football and it's only in one spot. Is it just a bruise or should i get it looked at

Dec 03, 2012
Fluid on Knee after knee replacement NEW
by: Dan

I had partial kneee replacement 8 months ago. I was recovering great until about one month ago. My knee became painful and full of fluid. Doctor withdrew fluid twice and then told me to wait until Feb. to come back to him. He gave me tramadol for pain. My leg gets swollen now from the knee down. Any thoughts?

Dec 03, 2012
Fluid on Knee after knee replacement NEW
by: Dan

I had partial kneee replacement 8 months ago. I was recovering great until about one month ago. My knee became painful and full of fluid. Doctor withdrew fluid twice and then told me to wait until Feb. to come back to him. He gave me tramadol for pain. My leg gets swollen now from the knee down. Any thoughts?

Jun 12, 2014
fluid NEW
by: Tiffany

I hit my knee at work 2-3months ago my knee swelled up I thought it would have went away by now but it hasn't I'm pretty sure there is fluid in it,do you think I might have damaged it? Since it never went away?

Aug 16, 2014
Swollen. Knee NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi I have had a swollen knee for about one month.Been to my Md. They did exrays blood tests & no answers to present.Had my knee drained one week ago & it hurt like hell...Im gonna call a Orthopaedic doctor Monday...I had it once before but the swollen went away after a couple of weeks..It hurts alittle but the ice helps...It dosent help that Im on my feet all day..I am worried....Hope to here from other ppl. who have problems like this.T.Y. Joanne

Mar 14, 2015
swollen knee NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi I have had a swollen knee for 5 weeks now seen 5 different doctors and they dont seem concerned I havent injured it or anything but I am on my feet a lot with my job working nights should I be concerned the swelling hasnt hone

Jul 14, 2015
very frustrated NEW
by: Anonymous

similar issue here, however i had an mri - no issues were found. Dr. drained a good amount of yellow fluid and gave me a host of cortisone. after 2 months knee still has pain (not as bad or as swollen) and still not strong. now back of ankle and calf burn every morning also. back of ankle hurts to walk until loose. i have not done any strenuous activity in a couple months - really just golf. any idea what is going on and will it eventually go away on it's own? Thanks a ton for your time!!

Oct 20, 2015
by: Anonymous

I also had similar issues.I got injuredriding in longboard but later this turned to plantar fasciitis

Mar 31, 2016
Fluid on knee NEW
by: Jeff

It looks as though there is no cure for fluid on the knee only treatment,or operation after 4 months. I have been told by my orthopedic surgeon to buy a walking stick & wait a year for knee replacement as i am 68 yrs old & it is jus degeneration.. may as well go to church & pour holy water on it.

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