To treat excessive fluid on the knee, which is swelling of the knee, doctors prescribe medication, and in some cases, surgery, according to Mayo Clinic. Resting, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers may help ease the pain of a swollen knee. Individuals should apply ice to the knee for 15 to 20 minutes every two to four hours for relief.
Doctors often prescribe pain medications if over-the-counter pain relievers do not work to ease the discomfort of a swollen knee, explains Mayo Clinic. Doctors may also suggest corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to reverse inflammation, and the doctor may inject some of these directly into the knee. Physical therapy may also work to reduce the fluid in the knee.
Surgery is also an option if medication does not treat fluid in the knee, suggests Mayo Clinic. Removing the fluid can help relieve the pressure on the knee, so a doctor may remove this fluid with a needle and then inject a steroid to treat the inflammation. Another type of surgery for removing fluid on the knee is arthroscopy. Doctors do this by inserting a tube with a light into the joint of the knee and then repairing damage and removing loose tissue that may cause swelling and fluid retention. If there is no other relief, or bearing weight on the joint is difficult, a doctor may suggest a knee replacement.