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Beverley asked...

Swollen knee for 6 weeks

I have had a swollen knee for 6 weeks. No obvious injury or event to explain it. I saw a doctor who doesn't think it's an injury or infection. I had a telephone consultation with the NHS physio last week who has given me some exercises and advice. They have recommended ice and ibuprofen which is already what I have been doing. I am to contact him again if no better after 4 weeks. As this has already been going on so long do you think I should arrange a private consultation with a physio or does this length of time for recovery seem normal?

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The answer

Under the circumstances if after these seven weeks you are seeing no improvement in your knee despite rest and ice and using an anti- inflammatory agent such as Ibuprofen it would seem sensible to see a Physio privately if you are able to. However, there are some conditions which are usually completely harmless that can cause swelling on the knee joint such as Bursitis, this usually responds well over time to the treatment pattern suggested by the physio you spoke to. Occasionally this can be complicated by infection in which case your knee would feel tender, with redness and tenderness to the touch and usually requires antibiotic therapy for example. If none of those symptoms are present and given that you have only been actively treating for a week,it may be worth  just for now continuing to apply ice up to three times  a day, resting and elevating your knee wherever possible and continuing with the suggested exercises for another week and then consulting with another physio if you feel there is still no improvement.


Answered by the Health at Hand nurses

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