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What is the procedure for treating fluid in the knee?

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Treatment for fluid in the knee usually involves pain medication and removal of the fluid, according to Mayo Clinic. If over-the-counter pain medicines do not provide adequate relief, the doctor may prescribe prescription pain medicines. To reduce inflammation, the doctor may also prescribe a corticosteroid to take orally or use a steroid injection to the knee. He may also recommend a surgical procedure to remove the fluid or treat the underlying cause of the inflammation and swelling.

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Treatment for fluid in the knee may include arthrocentesis, a procedure in which the doctor removes the fluid from the knee joint to relieve pressure and then injects a corticosteroid to relieve inflammation, explains Mayo Clinic. Another method of treatment is arthroscopy, during which the doctor inserts a lighted tube into the knee joint and removes loose tissue or repairs damage. If the patient no longer is able to tolerate putting weight on the knee, joint replacement surgery may be necessary. Many patients also benefit from physical therapy to strengthen the knee and improve function.

When caring for a swollen knee at home, the patient should rest the knee, avoiding weight-bearing activities as much as possible, advises Mayo Clinic. The patient may reduce swelling by applying ice to the knee while resting it in a raised position.

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