Tumor on the knee what could it be

A tumor is an uncontrolled division of tissue cells. Primary and secondary knee tumors are isolated.

Causes of primary tumors:

  • chronic and inflammatory pathological processes in the knee joints;
  • systemic connective tissue diseases;
  • previous injuries and bruises of soft tissues;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • neonatal formations are small foci of embryonic tissue in volume.

The reasons for the development of secondary knee tumors is the transition to the malignant form of dysplastic processes included in the group of pre-tumor diseases:

  • Paget’s disease;
  • multiple bone chondromatosis;
  • cartilage and bone exostosis.

Given the anatomical structure of the knee joint, the tumor is most often localized under the knee at the back.

Tumor conditions

Various pathological processes that occur in the knee joint, become the causes of the development of tumors.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Cyst baker

The implementation of the knee joint of motor activity is possible due to several elements:

  • ligamentous apparatus;
  • synovial fluid;
  • cartilage covering articular surfaces.

The synovial fluid is responsible for the smooth gliding of the articular bones. In cases where the fluid is produced in excess of the natural norm, it is poured into the popliteal zone – the inter-tendon bag, which leads to an increase in its size. So a benign cystic mass is formed.

  • popliteal discomfort;
  • pain syndrome of varying degrees;
  • limited mobility, changing as the disease progresses;
  • tumors of varying degrees, localized under the knee and front.

Baker’s cyst is caused by various forms of arthritis, inflammation of the synovial membrane, a violation of the integrity of the cartilage, a degenerative process in the menisci.

Since the cyst belongs to the secondary manifestations of pathological processes in the knee joint, its diagnosis should be systemic. The use of ultrasound and MRI is recommended.

Additionally, a cyst puncture may be required for diagnosis. The taken liquid is subjected to laboratory testing.

The cyst must be treated. As the formation increases, the pressure in the inter-tendon bag increases, which causes it to rupture.

Therapy is carried out in two ways:

  • Drug treatment. Medicines help reduce pain. The effect is temporary and does not directly affect the cause. Medications are needed to prepare the patient for the upcoming operation.
  • Operation. Two types of intervention are used to treat Baker’s cysts: removal of accumulated flu >It is a fluid-filled cavity formed in the deep layers of cartilage. During the development of pathology, meniscus cells secrete specific substances, which over time stretch the cartilage.

The meniscus cyst is divided into one-sided and two-sided. Depending on which meniscus is affected, a lateral and medial cyst is secreted. A parameniscal cyst is a lesion that affects the ligamentous apparatus and the pericapsular region.

The most common lateral cyst is due to the large load on the knee joint. The formation is large, bulges strongly on the outside of the joint and does not disappear when the limb is straightened. If such a tumor of the knee joint is not treated, it gradually spreads to the ligamentous apparatus and the pericapsular joint region. As a result, a parameniscal cyst is formed.

The development of a lateral cyst can be suspected by a slight noise inside the joint during movement. As the formation develops, pain intensifies due to increasing pressure on the nerve endings, blood vessels. The joint is deformed, inflamed.

The medial cyst has a clinical picture similar to the lateral cyst, only its intensity is much higher. The main place for the localization of pain is the inner zone of the knee joint. Muscle tone along the outside of the thigh is weakened. The neoplasm appears on the inner surface of the joint, closer to the patella or popliteal fossa.

A tumor that has arisen under the knee against the background of a meniscus cyst develops extremely slowly. Symptoms become noticeable when the formation reaches the stage requiring drug therapy.

  • Stage 1 – education is determined solely as a result of diagnosing other pathological processes. Swelling and pain are minor.
  • Stage 2 – when straightening the affected limb in the area of ​​the knee joint, a protrusion is clearly visible. On palpation, swelling of the soft tissues, pain is noted.
  • Stage 3 – the transformation of the meniscus. The formation covers neighboring tissues, the area around the capsule. Knee mobility is limited.

Diagnosing a meniscus cyst is not difficult. In order to exclude the oncological process, in addition to visual examination, the following procedures are prescribed:

  • cyst puncture and content analysis;
  • Ultrasound;
  • MRI (possibly CT scan);
  • thermography;
  • arthroscopy.

Treatment of meniscus cysts is possible with a conservative and surgical method. In the first case, the limb is immobilized. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed, additionally physiotherapeutic procedures.

To remove the cyst, a minimally invasive method of endoscopic intervention is used. This reduces the risk of complications and shortens the recovery period.

General clinical picture

Regardless of the cause of the development of a knee tumor, the first symptom is aching pain that accompanies physical activity and walking. As the tumor develops, pain also manifests itself at rest.

Swelling in the knee, even if it causes deformation of the joint, does not alter the soft tissues. In the future, limb mobility is limited, the knee joint loses its anatomical shape, increases in volume.

If untreated, the tumor begins to gradually compress the bones. In this regard, a minor blow, a sharp movement can cause a violation of the integrity of the bone apparatus of the knee.

Local symptoms are supplemented by:

  • decreased appetite;
  • weight loss for no apparent reason;
  • dizziness;
  • sleepiness;
  • feeling tired.

Often, a swelling of the knee joint causes an increase in body temperature. In the morning, febrile indicators are noted, and during the day – subfebrile.

A general blood test shows anemia, an increase in ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) and slight leukocytosis without a shift in the leukocyte formula in any direction.

In the development of the tumor, four degrees are distinguished:

  • 1 degree – education does not go beyond the borders of the knee joint. Dimensions – no more than 5 cm.
  • 2 degree – the tumor passes to the area of ​​musculoskeletal structures.
  • Grade 3 – the bone and muscle apparatus is affected. Education extends beyond the joint by 10 cm or more.
  • Grade 4 – the tumor spreads to the vessels and neuromuscular bundles, grows into the superficial to the skin.

Methods of diagnosis

The success of tumor treatment is determined by the timeliness of contacting a doctor and the correct selection of diagnostic methods:

  • X-ray diagnostics – images of the knee joint in lateral and direct projection. Accumulation of fluid, deformation of the bone apparatus is clearly visible. The structure of the bone changes – it becomes cellular.
  • CT, MRI – allow you to clearly determine where the tumor is located, its structure.
  • Radioisotope diagnostics is the basis of the method for bone uptake of substances with a radioactive label. If the tumor under the knee belongs to pre-tumor conditions, the bone absorbs them much more actively.
  • Sonography is a comprehensive examination of the whole body for the presence of metastases.
  • Biopsy is a method used to make a final diagnosis and differentiate benign and malignant education.

A biopsy is of two types – open and puncture. An open procedure is quite traumatic, but more informative than puncture.

Medical tactic

If the tumor cannot be cured with medication or physiotherapy, the surgical method is used:

  • Excohleation – the tumor is completely scraped out, after which the bone cavity is treated with nitrogen or a liquid form of phenol. Remediation allows you to completely eliminate microscopic lesions.
  • Edge resection – remove not only the tumor, but also adjacent healthy tissue. This eliminates the likelihood of relapse.
  • Wide removal – excise the case of education without opening it.

If the tumor was of an oncological nature, a course of radiation and chemotherapy is required.

Resection always ends with partial or complete arthroplasty. The resulting cavity is filled with special cement based on bone tissue. This eliminates further destruction of the elements of the knee joint.

Swollen knee without injury?

Speaking about the causes of knee pain, we can say that there are many. The pain may be accompanied by a tumor or hurt without visible changes, in any case, this indicates unconditional pathological changes.

Among them are injuries and bruises, diseases of bone tissue or the occurrence of an inflammatory process in the soft tissues of the knee compounds. If the knee is swollen without a bruise, this is probably a consequence of injuries received earlier.

Of course, not one of these reasons can be ignored. Indeed, without a comfortable movement, you are limited in your actions, which means that your life begins to change in a negative way.

If your knee is swollen laterally from the inside, how to treat? When any movement is accompanied by pain, then it is most likely an injury in the form of mechanical damage, then you can easily remember when and where you could get this bruise. Discomfort can be removed easily and without difficulty, knowing its cause.

Much more difficult is the case when suddenly, for no apparent reason, an edema occurs on the knee and it begins to hurt a lot. Here you can’t do without a doctor, since it is impossible to identify the cause of the disease yourself.

If the knee hurts on the side, and you did not bruise or injure it, then you can assume a rather dangerous pathology that occurs inside the patella. Edema can have a different shape, and is located on different sides, according to the size and focus of inflammation, a specialist can understand what this phenomenon can be caused by, but one cannot do without a special and deep examination.

Causes of Tumors

Why do tumors appear on my knees, and what kind of diseases can cause this negative phenomenon? Here are the most common reasons:

Soft muscle tissue damaged

If a person has severely injured his leg, pulling pains begin and edema occurs. This can happen without obvious injuries, from an awkward movement or due to a lot of physical activity. Then there is a pinched muscle, tendon or ligament.

Often such ailments affect people for a long time in the same position, or if the work was associated with excessive loads on the joints of the legs. In this case, to cure the disease, you will need rest and anti-inflammation drugs.

The reason may lie in gout. It has a chronic nature, as uric acid accumulates in the knees. There is inflammation, which aggravates with friction, the knee turns red, and the whole process is accompanied by rather severe pains, which are most persistent and strong at night.

Sometimes acute pain is so unbearable due to the inflammatory process that elevated body temperature can be observed. It does not make sense to endure, as it can be much worse further. You have a direct path to the doctor, without waiting for an acute and severe form of the disease.

Viral infections

not rarely are the reason why the normal operation of the knee is disturbed. Liquid can accumulate in it, for this reason a swelling occurs. Infection can occur for various reasons, poor hygiene, poor quality food, weakened immunity, it is important that you need to stop it in time, and only antibiotics can help here.


In athletes or people leading active lifestyles, sprains in the knees often occur. Without edema, these injuries can not do. The pain is so severe in this case that it is impossible to even step on the foot, not to straighten or straighten. Only by x-ray can determine the cause of the disease.

Perhaps this was caused by a sharp jerk on a slippery surface or a strong push in training. Immediate fixation and pain relievers are required here. In the event of a tear of the ligaments or a strong stretch, surgical assistance from surgeons is sometimes required.


There is a lesion in the form of tendonitis, it is caused by a failure of calcium metabolism in those muscle and soft tissue structures that are located around the tendons. This ailment is usually accompanied by severe swelling and severe pain. In this case, treatment with analgesics and non-steroidal drugs is required.


Pain can be the cause of osteoporosis. This is a decrease in bone density from a lack of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Osteoporosis is dangerous with cracks and even fractures. When the bones wear out, they become brittle and brittle.

Vulnerability is a danger, and the symptoms are revealed by pains, tumors, which are gradually hatched, and once hit with great force. This disease is most often inherent in older people.


Bursitis can detect itself in the inflammatory process in the joint bag. When the knees are loaded beyond measure, it is gradually injured, signs of arthrosis appear, redness and pain appear. It is important to relieve knee joints in a timely manner, to do treatment in the form of compresses, anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, and sometimes surgical operations.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Knee pain usually occurs with rheumatoid arthritis. It becomes difficult to move legs with any amplitude of movement, since inflammatory processes occur in both knees at once, articular cartilage is gradually destroyed, this is a very serious disease, it requires a long and serious treatment.

Cyst baker

With a Baker cyst that occurs after an injury, a severe bruise when dropped, fluid accumulates in the tumor. Usually, the following symptoms are observed before the appearance of the cyst: tingling in the foot, pain in the calf muscles.

Pre-arthritic condition

Goff disease usually accompanies when the fat layer surrounding the joint is damaged.

With a meniscus cyst

fluid filling and swelling also occur. Usually only with surgical help, through surgery, you can cope with this disease.

First aid ambulance

Swollen knee without injury and pain – how to treat before medical attention?

When the pain is stiff, the knee is swollen and edema is observed, it’s time to go to the clinic and seek the help of a surgeon to determine the cause of the disease. The faster you do this, the greater the likelihood of a speedy recovery.

It is not recommended to delay and self-medicate, since you cannot make the correct diagnosis yourself, which means that the treatment will be doubtful.

But, sharp and unbearable symptoms can be temporarily tried to remove on their own:

  • The first thing to do is to stop loading the knee and make it a respite in the loads.
  • You can apply a cold compress to the swollen part, this can slightly reduce pain and swelling, especially if it is associated with a trauma. You should not keep cold for more than 20 minutes. For these purposes, use a regular package from the freezer, wrapping it with a towel.

In this case, a compress that can be prepared in several ways will not hurt.

  1. Tincture on horse chestnut and vodka. To do this, you need 50 g of plant flowers, which you need to fill in with alcohols or insist vodka and insist for a week in a dark place.
  2. It is useful to prepare a mixture of 10 tablets of dipyrone, iodine, 70% alcohol in equal amounts. Apply the mixture to the sore spot in the form of a compress.

In order not to cause complications or other negative phenomena, you should not postpone a visit to the doctor for a long time, even if you managed to remove the painful symptoms.

Who is at risk?

  • People who are overweight, because of this, the load on the joints increases several times.
  • Whose work is associated with constant heavy physical exertion.
  • The entire female half, over 45 years old, is at risk of being affected by osteoporosis.
  • People who move a little, whose muscle tissue is motionless and constrained.
  • Those with congenital anatomy, such as flat feet or different leg lengths.

Be vigilant and watch the joints, not letting them hurt, adjusting their weight and loads.

Folk remedies

If the knee is swollen, how to treat at home?

There are many ways of alternative treatment that does not require large funds and forces, but remember the recommendations for a medical examination, neglecting which means making a big mistake.

  • Treatment with fat can reduce leg pain. Cut the fat thinner, and put it on a sore spot, wrapping it on top with a warm woolen scarf. This can be done at night.
  • Yellow clay will help with severe pain.
  • Cinquefoil is considered an excellent remedy for joint diseases. It can be insisted on vodka for 10 days, and make compresses at night, and can be used as a decoction. Baths or lotions of fir, mint, eucalyptus are also good.

When salts are deposited, grated black radish should be consumed, it dissolves them and removes them from the body.

It is useful to use baking soda for baths or compresses in the amount of a tablespoon per liter of warm water, then greased with olive oil.

  • Analgesics Ibuprofen, Nurofen.
  • Ointments for local use against inflammation: Dolobene, Chondroxide, Diclac gel and others.
  • Vitamins to maintain immunity.
  • A ten-day course of injections with hormonal agents.
  • With severe inflammation with suppuration, antibiotics are taken.

Preventive actions

  • Proper nutrition with the obligatory inclusion of sea fish, vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts.
  • Quitting smoking and alcohol, soda and chips, smoked meats and heavily salty foods.
  • Comfortable shoes, rejection of heels.
  • Gymnastics for joints, exercise therapy, swimming and bicycle.
  • Hiking and staying at sea.

All these remedies are good after you are convinced of the correctness of the diagnosis, because the treatment depends on it.

Knee pain and swelling

Pain and swelling in the knee joint is a fairly common complication, which is associated mainly with sports injuries and age-related changes in the musculoskeletal system.

Due to the nature of its structure, the knee joint is very vulnerable to some types of physical activity, in particular with a sharp rotation with a fixed foot. To understand the prerequisites of this phenomenon, as well as to identify the causes of a knee joint tumor and the features of its treatment, it is extremely important to have at least a rough idea of ​​its anatomy.

Knee anatomy

The knee joint is formed by the distal (lower) end of the femur, the proximal (upper) end of the tibia and patella. At the ends of both bones there are paired condyles – medial (internal) and lateral (external). They are ellipsoidal formations that increase the area of ​​the articular surfaces.

The articular surfaces of the femur and tibia are covered with strong cartilage, which ensures smoothness and glide when bent. The peculiarity of the structure of the knee joint is the presence of two menisci in it – special semicircular cartilaginous rings lying between the ends of the femur and tibia.

The knee joint has a powerful ligamentous apparatus, providing its strength and stability. Of particular anatomical and clinical importance are the cruciate ligaments, which, as the name implies, cross the joint cavity crosswise. One of them is located in front, the other – in the back. In case of knee injuries caused by a sharp turn, they are primarily damaged.

Finally, the knee joint is provided with articular bags. These are special formations that perform a depreciation function and facilitate movement.

Why is the knee joint swollen?

The reasons why the knee joint is sick and swollen are many. Only the main ones are listed here.

Knee injury

The most common cause of damage to the knee joint is its trauma during sports and physical education. This is especially true for hockey players, skaters and soccer players. The mechanism of injury is that the body rotates by inertia with a fixed foot. At the same time, in the knee joint, the femur moves around its axis, and the tibia remains in place. As a result, there is a sprain and even rupture of the ligaments with the corresponding clinical picture:

  • A sharp pain in the knee both in front and behind.
  • Increasing swelling, the patient notices that the knee joint is swollen.
  • Difficulty or impossibility of flexion in the knee joint, as they are accompanied by severe pain.
  • There may be a change in skin color from pale pink to purplish-cyanotic (with damage to blood vessels and the occurrence of subcutaneous hematoma).

Of course, sports injury is not the only cause of damage to the knee joint under the influence of external factors. A blow to the knee (for example, during a fall) can result in a fracture of the patella and rupture of the tendons, which will require more serious examination and treatment.


The term “gonarthrosis” means a degenerative-dystrophic process in the tissues of the knee joint. The articular cartilage becomes thinner, the ligaments calcify, bone strength decreases, osteophytes (acute outgrowths) form along the edges of the bones. As a rule, gonarthrosis develops in the elderly, especially in women during menopause.

The disease is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • pain and swelling in the knee joint.
  • difficulty bending the knee and walking.
  • feeling of stiffness in the knees.
  • sensation of “click” and “crunch” during movements.

A significant risk factor for the development of gonarthrosis is obesity. Overweight increases the load on the knee joint, which leads to its more rapid “wear”.

Autoimmune diseases

In systemic diseases of the connective tissue, such as rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, systemic lupus erythematosus and others, inflammation of the knee joint, or arthritis, may develop. This condition is more severe than arthrosis; it requires long-term observation by a rheumatologist and long-term treatment with hormonal drugs in order to stop the pathological process. In addition, the process is not excluded when arthrosis is accompanied by arthritis.

Infectious diseases

Often, damage to the knee joint is observed with infectious diseases. Theoretically, any contagious disease can lead to such a complication, especially a viral one.

However, with some pathology, changes from the joints, including the knee, come to the fore:

  • Pseudotuberculosis with gastrointestinal upsets, rash and arthritis.
  • Brucellosis, an occupational disease of veterinarians and people dealing with cattle. It manifests itself as prolonged fever, multiple joint damage, changes in the psyche and infertility.
  • Borreliosis is a disease caused by bacteria and transmitted with a tick bite. It has an extremely rich clinical picture with damage to the brain, skin, heart and joints.
  • Reiter’s syndrome is one of the manifestations of chlamydial infection, which occurs mainly in men. It is characterized by a combined lesion of large joints, pathology of the eyes and urethritis (inflammation of the urethra).
  • Osteoarticular tuberculosis, in which the development of gonitis is possible – an isolated lesion of the knee joint with its progressive destruction.


Sometimes there is bursitis, or inflammation of the periarticular bag, which at the knee joint is quite a lot both in front and behind. The disease is manifested by pain in the knee, its swelling, as well as difficulties with movement.


To identify the causes of pain and swelling of the knee joint, an X-ray examination is first shown. If it turns out to be insufficiently informative, it is recommended to conduct an MRI, which allows you to better assess the condition of soft tissues and ligaments.

In difficult cases, when the cause of the knee joint lesion remains unclear, arthroscopy is indicated. This method consists in introducing a special tube into the joint cavity through a puncture and allows you to directly examine the articular surfaces. Only during arthroscopy, the doctor can take a biopsy of the tissues of the joint with the possibility of detecting the true cause of the disease.

For a comprehensive diagnosis of pathology of the knee joint, a competent specialist conducts the following studies:

  • General and biochemical blood tests to identify the inflammatory process.
  • Analysis for rheumatoid factor and anticytrulline antibodies (diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Fluorography of the lungs and Mantoux reaction (to exclude tuberculosis).
  • Determination of antibodies to yersinia, borrelia, chlamydia, brucellosis test.

Principles of treatment

The treatment of pain and swelling of the knee depends on the cause that caused them. However, some principles are the same for any clinical situation.

Wearing orthoses is shown – special devices that allow you to slightly relieve the knee joint. They provide immobilization of the limb, which contributes to recovery processes.

They can be prescribed both in tablet form and in the form of ointments. It should be remembered that these drugs should be used only under the supervision of a specialist, since if they are used incorrectly, various side effects can develop.

Also, to remove puffiness, you can apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the knee. After reducing inflammation, physiotherapy courses as well as therapeutic exercises will be useful.

What to do if the knee is swollen?

One of the common problems that occurs with the legs is a swollen knee. This situation can be associated with various reasons, but it is especially important to identify it correctly in order to take adequate treatment methods. It is extremely undesirable to expect that the symptoms will disappear on their own or to use only traditional medicine, since there is a likelihood of serious pathologies.

Causes of Knee Tumor

Various phenomena can provoke edema in the knee, starting from a harmless bruise and ending with the development of a serious infection process. Not everyone can figure out this on their own, therefore, with the first symptoms, it is better to consult a doctor.

And the most common reasons why a knee can hurt are:

  1. Injuries, sprains.
  2. Infectious diseases.
  3. Bursitis.
  4. Gonarthrosis.
  5. Autoimmune pathologies.

In addition to leg swelling, additional symptoms are characteristic of each of the causes, which indicates the development of a disease.

Injuries and sprains

This category includes not only obvious leg injuries in the form of a fracture, but also joint sprains, which are quite common in people whose activity is associated with increased loads on the lower limbs. Joint damage occurs when overweight, when the connective tissue can not cope with the load. Typical symptoms of knee injury are:

  • Swelling of the growing type.
  • The pain is sharp and for some unbearable, spreads throughout the leg.
  • Inability to bend the knee completely, including due to severe pain.
  • Changes in skin color in the area of ​​the injured area from pale pink to a shade of bruise, which is explained by rupture of blood vessels when injured.

If after an injury, even at first glance, a minor knee is swollen and sore, then you need to contact a therapist, traumatologist or surgeon for a diagnosis, the appointment of further treatment.

Infectious diseases

Bacteria and viruses can provoke pathologies in the knee. Pathogens can be staphylococci, gonococci, streptococci, fungi and other agents. As a result, there is swelling, soreness of the inflamed area. The longer no measures are taken to eliminate the focus of infection, the more intense the pain is manifested, with suppuration, they can be pulsating.

In addition to symptoms, regarding the limbs, with infectious diseases there is a general deterioration in well-being. It can be digestive disorders, problems with the respiratory system and other ailments associated with the spread of bacteria.

Swollen knee photo


Inflammation of the acute or chronic type, proceeding in the synovial bag or in a small cavity, which are many around the joint. With bursitis, you can observe that the knee is swollen from the outside, but there is also the possibility of swelling and from the inside. Depending on the location of the cavity, the location of the inflammatory focus will also change. This reaction is explained by a change in the structure of exudate, which is transformed into an inflammatory fluid.

Signs of bursitis, in addition to changes in the shape of the knee, are an increase in the general temperature, the formation of swelling (it can reach 8-10cm), nausea, weakness, difficulty in moving.


Pathology spreads to the joint and surrounding tissues and manifests itself in the form of degenerative-dystrophic changes. The cartilages, joints, ligaments, bones become involved. More common in older people or overweight. Gonarthrosis has the following symptoms:

  • Specific movement sounds that resemble a crunch.
  • Swelling, pain in the development of the pathological process.
  • Difficulties in movement, stiffness.

Gonarthrosis is treated comprehensively, mainly by orthopedists. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the more likely it is to maintain motor function.

Autoimmune pathologies

The category of autoimmune diseases combines a number of dysfunctions in the body, the consequences of which can be destruction of the joints. These include arthritis, including rheumatoid, psoriatic, reactive, Crohn’s disease and ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatic fever and others.

In autoimmune diseases, the priority is the treatment of the underlying disorder, only in this case can the process of destruction of the joint and other surrounding tissue be stopped.

It is important to understand that regardless of whether the knee is swollen after a fall or the cause of edema and pain is a change in metabolic processes in the body, diagnosis should be made and the leg should be properly treated. In the absence of appropriate measures, the development of various complications is possible, which will be much more difficult to eliminate, sometimes only surgically or with long-term therapy.

Swelling over the knee: causes, treatment

The reasons why the legs swell can be very diverse. Few people even think about the consequences that are provoked by such a seemingly everyday problem. Do not leave the tumor over the knee without proper attention and treatment, even in cases where it is not painful to bend the leg. This can lead to complications, the elimination of which will require the help of a surgeon.

Causes of a tumor over the knee

Such a human limb as the leg is constantly experiencing not only various external loads. Swelling above the knee can be caused by various diseases. Therefore, such neoplasms are divided into two corresponding groups.

External Factors

Any, even the most ordinary load on the joint can damage it, this is running, and playing sports, and even ordinary walking. There is inflammation, metabolic disturbance, which is why in a problem place and fluid begins to accumulate. Edema above the knee in this case can be either imperceptible, barely noticeable, or rather large (occupy an area of ​​8-9 cm or more above the knee).

This situation often overtakes people who lead an active lifestyle and play sports, when you can damage not only the cup. Most often, footballers and hockey players suffer, due to physiological characteristics and physical laws, sprain and sometimes rupture of ligaments occur. The mechanism of such damage is as follows: when the body moves, at a certain moment it continues to move by inertia, when the person’s foot and foot are already motionless. It turns out that the femur moves around its axis, and the tibia is not, which causes injuries, which are characterized by the following symptoms:

  • The knee hurts, both in front and behind. You can’t even bend your leg
  • The appearing and growing swelling has a considerable size,
  • There are no cases when the skin acquires a bluish-purple hue, this is a hematoma formed due to damaged capillaries.

This list of symptoms is also characteristic of other physical injuries.

This group also includes:

  • Hypothermia. In this case, a swelling above the knee is formed only after some time,
  • Hidden fractures. The leg will also hurt, so if you see any swelling that didn’t go away in a short time, you need to see a doctor,
  • Tendonitis. This disease occurs against the background of excessive physical exertion and is characterized by inflammation of the tendons and swelling above the knee. If you ignore this ailment, tendons can completely atrophy.

Internal factors

This includes various diseases and malfunctions in the body, which are accompanied by individual symptoms and features. If you have a tumor above the knee for such reasons, then there is no single treatment, and the doctor will have to prescribe a course depending on the root of the problem. It is impossible to consider all such cases, however, there are episodes that are observed more often than others.


The tumor above the patella in this case is caused by the accumulation of exudate in the synovial bag (also has the second name of the bursa, after which the disease is named). This fluid is secreted by the blood vessels during inflammation in the cavity and tissue. Such leg edema is accompanied by severe pain and difficulty in moving.

Avoid surgery in this case will not work. Although serious intervention is not required, a specialist must make a puncture so that all knee fluid is removed.


This is the term of such an ailment as a degenerative-dystrophic process in the tissues of the knee joint. In simple words, the cartilage begins to thin out, the ligaments come to a worse state, and the strength of the bone tissue itself is greatly reduced. The main risk group is elderly people, as well as women during menopause.

Swelling over the knee in this case is accompanied by:

  • Sensation of a crunch in the joint when moving,
  • Feeling of stiffness
  • In this case, the leg hurts a lot,

It is worth highlighting that overweight people fall into the risk group, because the load on both legs above the knees and lower is directly proportional to the weight of the person.

This disease is characterized by an accumulation of uric acid in the joints. Although fingers often suffer, sometimes this problem also occurs in the knee region. A tumor on the leg is also complemented by the following symptoms:

  • Redness of the skin,
  • Intense pain.

Complications that appear against the backdrop of untimely or inferior treatment include even the patient’s disability.


In this case, the signs are more pronounced when changing weather conditions. They include discomfort and pain when walking, which can have very different degrees of severity.


A tumor over the knee with this diagnosis is seasonal. The defeat of one joint is a relatively rare picture, usually several sites suffer. Appeared edema subsides pretty quickly after the appearance, which causes a feeling of absence of a problem. Naturally, the doctor will find out why the swelling over the knee should not be delayed on a visit, even when the swelling has subsided.


A disease familiar to everyone that occurs in the middle-aged female population. It is accompanied by such an ailment with heaviness in the legs, pain, tightness on the background of the fact that the leg is swollen above the knee. On palpation, the affected area will be hot, in severe cases, blood clots form.

The problem of this disease is that the blood in the veins begins to move in both directions, so when in healthy it circulates only to the heart.


In this episode, the problem is connected with nothing more than lymph and its stagnation. Any area, from fingers to the entire thigh, on one or both legs can swell.

Initially, no neoplasm is observed, only a slight darkening of the skin is visible. Only after some time the limb swells stronger and more noticeable.

In addition, if you have overtaken swelling of the legs above the knee, the cause may be in one of the following diagnoses:

  • Cyst,
  • Arthritis,
  • Osteomyelitis,
  • Synovitis
  • Osteochondritis
  • Heart failure,
  • Renal failure
  • Hernia,
  • Epicondylitis

Malignant formations (cancer, etc.) are quite rare and are accompanied by various negative symptoms (pain, discomfort, heaviness in the legs, general condition worsening).

Tumor treatment on the leg above the knee

If the leg is swollen, the following treatment is divided into several stages, the main of which is drug therapy.

Medication Therapy

As you may have noticed, the variety of possible diseases and other causes is so great that you cannot prescribe any one drug, especially at home, and hope for a full recovery. Often, doctors prescribe a course of different groups of medicines, which include:

  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesics (Meloxicam, Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Nimid),
  • Diuretics (Furosemide, Indapamide),
  • Antihistamines (Suprastin, Tavegil),
  • Normalizing lymph circulation (Lymphomiazot),
  • In some cases, antibiotics, anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents, corticosteroids, cytostatics and thyroid hormones can be prescribed.


This approach is not only used for mechanical injuries. Such sessions include:

  • Laser therapy
  • UHF
  • Electrophoresis
  • Magnetotherapy
  • Mud therapy
  • Phonophoresis.

First aid for swelling over the knee

If there is no opportunity to visit a doctor, and you need to somehow remove unpleasant symptoms, resort to these tips:

  • Try to move less
  • Wrap ice in a cloth and attach to the problem area. Not more than 10-15 minutes at a time
  • Lie down and place your foot above the level of the heart,
  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, Nimesil, a place you can apply Diclofenac ointment.

Many do not pose the problem of swelling high enough over the knee. Especially if the muscle moves normally, and the edema generally subsided itself after some time, because what could go wrong under such successful circumstances. Remember that sometimes the cause is deeper (for example, heart problems). He will make the correct diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment only to the doctor.

Knee swelling: causes and how to relieve swelling

Knee edema is most often caused by increased production of synovial fluid. A small amount of elastic substance is contained in the cavity of the knee joint. It performs the function of biological lubrication, protects cartilage tissue from premature wear. Violation of the synthesis process leads to the accumulation of synovia, bulging of the capsule beyond the joint. Moreover, effusion can occur on different sides of the knee – from above, from below, from the side, in the popliteal cavity. When the synovial membrane ruptures, fluid flows into adjacent soft tissues.

What to do if the knee is swollen and sore depends on the specific factor that caused this deviation. Consider the most common causes and possible treatments.


The knee is not only the knee joint, but also the site of concentration of ligaments, muscle tissue, menisci, tendons, articulated bones. Traumatic injuries (fractures, cracks, bruises, sprains, dislocations) of any element provoke internal hemorrhage into the joint cavity and / or intercellular space, which leads to edema.

If the knee is swollen without injury, this is a clear sign of the involvement of the body in a pathological condition.

Inflammatory processes

Bursitis. The defeat of the synovial bags (bursa) located around the protruding sections of the bones in the knee. Small bags lie under the muscles, tendons, fascia and in the subcutaneous fat.

Depending on the localization of the focus of inflammation, bursitis is divided into:

    patella (suprapatellar); popliteal (infrapatellar); goose (Baker’s cyst).

Inflamed bursa are determined by palpation in the form of soft neoplasms with clear contours. With aseptic bursitis, the knee is slightly increased in volume, with purulent, the knee is very swollen and hot to the touch.

Arthritis Inflammatory reaction to lesions of the bone-cartilaginous ends or synovial membrane of the knee joint. Initially, pain occurs, periodically intensifies after exertion or closer to night. Then signs of inflammation join in: local hyperemia and hyperthermia, swelling. With a large accumulation of exudate, instability of the patella is noted.

Gout. Deposition of uric acid salts in the knee joint. Often proceeds on the principle of arthritis with inflammation of the bursa and tendons. With articulation with articulation with urates, the knee swells, bone growths form, movements are difficult, crunch appears.

Tendonitis, Tendovaginitis. Inflammation or degeneration of tendon fibers and adjacent tissues. It starts with short-term pains, which subsequently acquire an intense paroxysmal character. Pain and crunching appear during active movements. Mild edema is indicated in the knee area.

Other factors

Arthrosis. They are born due to a violation of the processes of regeneration of cartilage tissue cells. At an early stage, they are accompanied by short-term bouts of pain (often weather-dependent) and a slight swelling in the knee. With the interest of the synovial membrane, synovitis develops: the knee joint increases in volume, takes a spherical shape, pain discomfort increases, movements are limited.

Schlatter’s disease. Possible cause if the knee is swollen in a teenager 10-18 years old. The destruction of the tibial tuberosity is observed during the period of active formation of the skeleton. In the affected area through swelling, a solid protrusion is felt. Active movements are accompanied by a pain attack of varying intensity.

Exostoses. Random formation of cartilage cells, followed by degeneration into bone tissue. Increasing in size of the neoplasm provokes swelling, pain, redness.


To figure out what to do if the knee is swollen, you need to undergo an adequate diagnosis. Edema is an external symptom of a pathological process. For effective treatment, it is necessary to establish the true cause of the phenomenon. The essence of the disease and the condition of the patient are specified according to the results of laboratory and hardware research methods.

To this end, carry out:

    blood sampling for general and biochemical analysis, determining markers of inflammation and rheumatoid factor; synovial fluid puncture for urate; immunological analysis for antibodies; roentgenography; contrast arthrography; joint thermography; Ultrasound, CT, MRI; diagnostic arthroscopy.

Extensive diagnostics allows you to accurately differentiate (distinguish) pathology.

Knee edema treatment

As already mentioned, if the knee is swollen and sore, what to treat depends on the cause that led to the development of painful deviations.

In addition to drugs that correct the general condition, the classical regimen of drug therapy includes the use of:

    non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Diclofenac, Aertal, Indomethacin, Ibuprofen), antispasmodics (Nise, Nimesulide) – stop inflammation and pain, are used in the form of tablets, ointments for topical application; glucocorticosteroids (Prednisolone, Methotrexate, Diprospan) – are administered directly into the joint cavity with severe persistent pain; muscle relaxants (Sirdalud, Midokalm) – reduce the tone of skeletal muscles, eliminate muscle cramps; angioprotectors and microcirculation correctors (Pentoxifylline, Troxerutin) – activate metabolic processes in the vascular walls, reduce their fragility, fragility, inflammation, relieve swelling of the knee joint; chondroprotectors (Teraflex) – stimulate the formation and restoration of cartilage tissue.

The development of infectious arthritis and bursitis provokes the penetration of pathogens into the joint cavity. In this case, the treatment course is supplemented with antibacterial drugs. Before determining the sensitivity of microorganisms, broad-spectrum antibiotics are used.

How to relieve swelling at home

Traditional medicine will be a good help in addition to drug treatment. Proven recipes proven by many years of experience will help relieve swelling from the knee joint.

Rinse fresh leaves of birch, burdock, plantain, put on the knee. Cover with cling film, secure with a light dressing, leave overnight. You can do the same with a leaf of cabbage, after having beaten it off with a knife and greased it with natural honey.

Dilute any cosmetic clay in chilled boiled water to a mushy state. Apply to the problem area, rinse after 2 to 3 hours.

In freshly squeezed lemon juice, moisten a medical napkin or gauze cut, wrap the affected joint. In the absence of discomfort, withstand 30 – 40 minutes.

Rinse the leaves of aloe, cut protruding thorns, chop. Mix with the same amount of black radish, grated on a fine grater. Place the mixture on a piece of cotton cloth, attach to the inflamed area. Fix the application with a net, cover with a warm cloth, remove after 1 – 1,5 hours.

A person often falls into a risk group due to his lifestyle and diet. A balanced diet, dosed physical activity, regular walks in the fresh air will increase the chances of recovery.

Shishkevich Vladimir

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews. It specializes in the treatment of diseases in orthopedic, traumatological, vertebrological profiles