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What causes discomfort over the knee joint, followed by swelling and then inability to stretch or bent the leg fully?

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Pathologist and Microbiologist
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 6936 Questions
Good afternoon! Approximately three weeks ago I had a little discomfort above my left kneecap. About two weeks ago the discomfort was still there but not as noticeable. This past week it felt pretty good until two days ago. I woke up yesterday morning with my knee swollen tightness in the back and discomfort above the kneecap. I do not recall doing anything that would damage it. It feels like I can't stretch my legs straight or bend it fully. I tried icing it and using heat as well . Can you help me? Thank you XXXXXXX
Posted Fri, 21 Mar 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 51 minutes later
Brief Answer: Joint effusion probably,orthopedician consultation Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query on HealthCareMagic. The symptoms that you are suffering from are initially a discomfort over the knee joint, followed by swelling and then inability to stretch or bent the leg fully. The swelling is most probably due to effusion. Effusion is collection of fluid in the joint cavity. There are many reasons for the effusion- infection, reactive condition, autoimmune diseases being the common ones. You need to consult your orthopedician without a delay. A X-ray of the joint is required to look for the status of underlying bones and condition of soft tissues. If there is fluid collection in the joint cavity, the fluid has to be aspirated and examined. The composition of the fluid can determine the cause of effusion. All other symptoms- discomfort and difficulty in walking are related to the effusion. Once the effusion is treated, these symptoms will disappear. If you have further queries, I will be glad to answer. Dr Shailja P Wahal
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