What causes swelling on the side of the kneecap? Is it a serious situation? Do you need to see a doctor? What should we do to pass? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.
Swelling on the side of the kneecap can limit the flexibility and function of our knee. For example, if your knee or its circumference is swollen, you may find it difficult to bend your knee, or you may feel uncomfortable even when the leg is not moving. Swelling on the side of the kneecap may also cause pain, and redness may occur in the area of the swelling. Rest, cold compresses, and warm compresses can help with kneecap swelling that is not caused by serious causes. For more serious causes, you should see a doctor and get appropriate diagnosis/treatment.
Below you will learn about potential causes of swelling on the side of the kneecap.
1. Knee injury
Possible injuries to the bones, ligaments, tendons, bursa, meniscus, or articular cartilage in your knee can cause swelling and even pain on the side of the kneecap . Serious injury can cause blood to flow more than normal to the knee joint, causing significant swelling, warmth, stiffness and bruising; This condition is called hemarthrosis and requires immediate medical care. If the pain is accompanied by swelling and is severe, if you are unable to put weight on your legs, or if you have other symptoms of a broken bone, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
2. Calcification of the knee
Wear or wear of the cartilage of the knee joint can cause excessive joint fluid production, causing the knee to swell. If there is calcification in the knee, it is often complained of pain along with swelling. Although calcification in the knee is usually only associated with pain, swelling is also observed intensely in this case. If you suspect that you have arthritis in your knee, you can consult your family doctor. He or she may prescribe you medication or refer you to an orthopedic specialist .
3. Bursa inflammation (bursitis)
There are small, thin, fluid-filled sacs called bursae in the body and these act as pillows. These slippery cushions reduce friction between bone and surrounding soft tissues such as skin and muscle. When any of these bursae becomes inflamed, this is exactly what we call bursitis . When patella bursitis occurs, the swelling on the side of the kneecap is usually mild. Kneecap swelling from bursitis can sometimes be tender and painful, but sometimes it may not trigger any symptoms.
The painful accumulation of microscopic uric acid crystals defines gout. Swelling from gout usually occurs at night while lying in bed . Symptoms usually come on suddenly and the swelling is accompanied by severe pain, redness, and a feeling of warmth. Gout is often accompanied by sudden, excruciating pain, redness, and warmth. Although gout usually affects the big toe, it can also affect the knee, heel, ankle and upper part of the foot. While a gout attack usually resolves on its own, medication and medical treatment can help relieve pain and other symptoms.
Pseudo-gout is also associated with the deposition of microscopic crystals in the joint. In pseudogout, calcium pyrophosphate crystals can build up in the knee joint and cause sudden, severe pain and swelling . The skin over the affected joint may appear discolored. Pseudo-gout is most common in the knee and can also affect the shoulder, elbow, ankle, wrist, large joints, hip, or spine. It can affect more than one joint at the same time and can be confused with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
6. Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that affects the delicate lining in the joints , can cause swelling, stiffness, pain, tenderness, and redness in the knee. The knee may feel “spongy” when pressed. Although rheumatoid arthritis can trigger symptoms in the knee, the hands, wrists, and feet also often have symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the joints symmetrically, so if the right knee is affected, the left knee may also be affected.
7. Baker’s cyst
Also known as a baker’s cyst, a baker’s cyst occurs when a bursa located at the back of the knee called the popliteal bursa fills with excess fluid. Swelling on the side of the kneecap may be an indication of a Baker’s cyst. Other symptoms of Baker’s cyst may include pain and stiffness, but unlike swelling, pain and stiffness do not always occur. Pain may worsen during certain activities, such as straightening and bending the knee, or after standing for long periods of time.
8. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
This type of arthritis in children can cause the affected child to limp or appear clumsy. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis usually affects large joints, including the knee, and can affect more than one joint at a time. Affected children may have a fever or rash, and the pain is usually more pronounced in the morning. If you have such doubts, you should consult a doctor.
9. Septic arthritis
Septic arthritis is when bacteria or other microorganisms penetrate and infect the delicate lining surrounding the knee joint. Swelling on the side of the kneecap or swelling of the knee itself, along with a feeling of warmth , may be a sign of septic arthritis. If the underlying infection spreads to the bloodstream, then septic arthritis can become a serious condition. If patients suspect that their symptoms are due to septic arthritis, they should seek immediate medical attention.
Although relatively rare, some tumors, benign or malignant, can cause swelling in or around the kneecap. The swelling may also be accompanied by a dull ache. The pain may be more pronounced and severe at night or when starting exercise or increasing activity. A tumor can also trigger fever, weight loss, and night sweats. In case of suspicion of a tumor, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.