DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Knee effusion or swelling of the knee of a 74- year-old man. Effusion is the accumulation of fluid in the joint space. It limits movement and is usually painful and tender. Joints such as the knee contain small amounts of synovial fluid for lubrication. Injuries which cause damage or inflammation often result in the production of excessive amounts of this fluid, resulting in an effusion. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are usually successful in reducing the swelling, but in rare cases the fluid may need to be withdrawn using a hypodermic needle.
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