Rapid knee swelling

Knee swelling or an effusion that is rapid is usually through a tear or rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) where a bleed occurs. This can also bleed down into the lower leg. Joint injuries such as meniscal tears or surface damage can also cause rapid knee swelling. Insect bites or infections can also cause rapid swelling to the knee at medical emergency treatment must be sought.

A fracture of the femur can cause very rapid knee swelling and again immediate emergency aid must be called. Other injuries that cause the knee to swell rapidly are listed below:
  • ACL Sprain

    ACL Sprain

    Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury or 'ACL injuries' are common in contact sports and especially those that are combined with sudden change of direction such as soccer or football. Often ACL tears do not occur in isolation and are in most cases are associated with damage to other structures within the knee such as the cartilage or the collateral ligaments.

  • Medial Ligament Sprain

    Medial Ligament Sprain

    A medial ligament sprain or MCL injury is a tear of the ligament on the inside of the knee, usually a result of twisting or direct impact.

    Medial ligament injuries are common in contact sports such as football and rugby, as well as martial arts. They can also occur in daily life through falls and twists of the knee joint.

  • Medial Meniscus Tear

    Medial Meniscus Tear

    A torn meniscus is a tear to the semi circular cartilage in the knee joint causing pain on the inside of the knee. It is commonly injured through direct impact in contact sports or twisting but can also occur in older athletes through gradual degeneration. Treatment depends on how bad the injury is and may require surgery.

  • Lateral Knee Ligament Sprain

    Lateral Knee Ligament Sprain

    A lateral ligament sprain is a knee ligament injury involving a tear to the ligament on the outside of the knee and is most likely following a direct blow to the inside of the knee.

  • Patella Dislocation

    Patella Dislocation

    The patella can dislocate outside of its normal position, usually round the outside of the knee. It can also partially dislocate, called a subluxation.

  • Tibial Plateau Fracture

    Tibial Plateau Fracture

    The tibial plateau is the upper surface of the tibia or shin bone. It is prone to becoming fractured in high speed accidents such as those associated with skiing, horse riding and certain water sports.

  • Knee Sprain

    Knee Sprain

    A knee sprain is an injury or damage to any of the four ligaments which support the knee.

  • Osteochondral Knee Fracture

    Osteochondral Knee Fracture

    An Osteochondral fracture is a tear of the cartilage which covers the end of a bone, within a joint. It is also known as Osteochondritis Dissecans and is common in the knee joint, especially in association with other injuries such as ACL tears.

  • Unhappy Triad of the Knee

    Unhappy Triad

    The unhappy triad is a severe injury which involves damage to three of the four major ligaments in the knee.

  • Acute Knee Injuries

    An acute knee injury usually occurs suddenly through either trauma or a twisting action. Pain in the knee can vary in severity from very mild to very severe and this depends on the injury mechanism (how the injury occurred) and the forces involved during the impact. It is strongly advised not to carry on playing if you have acute knee pain as this can easily progress to a chronic pain or to more complex knee injuries.