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What is a lack of joint effusion in the knee?

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Quick Answer

A lack of joint effusion in the knee indicates an absence of swelling in and around the knee joint. Joint effusion is the medical term for swollen joints, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

Knees, hips and shoulders are mobile joints. The cartilaginous surfaces of the bones at these joint areas are coated with synovial fluid. Occasionally, arthritis, infection or trauma to the knee can cause swelling, especially the pooling of excess synovial fluid, states University of Wisconsin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.

Of all the body's joints, the knee is the largest and most complex. The thigh, shin and tibia converge at the knee. The patella forms the kneecap. Ligaments bind these bones together, and tendons and leg muscles move the knee joint. The cartilaginous surfaces of the thigh and shin bone are the medial and lateral menisci. They are C-shaped and serve as shock absorbers.

Knee movements compel the joined ends of the thigh and shin bones to constantly rub and grind against each other. While the menisci absorb shock, a tiny amount of synovial fluid provides lubrication. Synovial fluid is many times more slippery than a hockey puck traveling over smooth ice, claims UW Medicine. Increases in synovial fluid can put painful pressure on joints.

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