A 45 years old male from Scotland flew in today for treatment. Patient is complaining of pain and swelling in the right knee. Edema (medical lingo: swelling) gets worse when patient goes dancing or playing Golf. His past medical history is significant for compound fracture of right knee in 1978 requiring surgical repair at the level of Tibia and Fibula, otherwise he is generally healthy. Patient smokes 20-30 cigarettes per day and he drinks Alcohol occasionally. Patient otherwise is a good candidate for total knee replacement.
Discussion: Edema or swelling of a knee Joint is an uncomfortable condition which can become more painful as it increases in quantity. Swollen and painful knees typically involves the leakage of blood's serum as well as synovial fluid into surrounding tissues. Sudden onset of swelling in Osteoarthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is common ( more common in Rheumatoid) one theory suggests this is because of inflammation of synovium ( medical lingo: the cells that produce the liquid that lubricates the joints ),this condition also is known as synovitis (medical lingo: itis=inflammation and could apply to any condition in medicine). Unusual Swelling of the knee may represent phlebitis which needs to be ruled out, sometimes the gravity pulls fluid from the knee all the way to the to the calf and ankle, causing them to swell as well. Puffiness of the eyes and or the face or the ankles are other examples of edema and may represent more troublesome conditions such as heart failure which needs to be identified and treated appropriately.