Options for non-invasive treatment for fluid on the knee include medication, joint aspiration, arthroscopy, rest, and ice and elevation, according to Mayo Clinic. If an individual is unable to put weight on his knee joint, he may have to consult an orthopedic surgeon for a knee replacement surgery.
Medications used to treat fluid on the knee include pain medications, corticosteroids and antibiotics, states Mayo Clinic. Prescribed pain medications may be recommended if over-the-counter medications aren't strong enough to manage knee pain. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can either be taken orally or injected into the knee. Since they come with serious side effects, corticosteroids shouldn't be taken for a long period of time. Antibiotics are often used if the individual's symptoms are the result of an infection.
Joint aspiration is a minimally invasive surgical option in which fluid is removed from the knee to help relieve pressure, notes Mayo Clinic. A corticosteroid may be injected in the knee joint after the procedure to treat swelling. An arthroscopy involves making an incision over the knee joint before a small tube is inserted and used to transmit images of the inside of the patient's knee. Surgical tools may be used to repair the knee or remove loose tissue.