Swollen Knee - when do I go back to the Dr?

sweatpea Member Posts: 2
edited 9. Sep 2019, 06:20 in Chat to our Helpline Team

I've had a swollen knee for 6 weeks now. It came completely out of the blue, no injury, no overdoing it, just one day it decided to swell up! It's also painful and my mobility is limited (straightening and bending the leg to the extremes, stairs are a nightmare!).

I've limited all activities (running, walking, swimming) and have tried to rest as much as is possible while still getting on with day to day activities.

I've been to the Drs and had blood tests (all fine) and Xray, which came back with very mild Osteoarthritis, and I was told 'it's basically wear and tear'.

But this swelling is not budging and I'm starting to think there is something else up. When I spoke to the Dr over the phone to get my results he said there is no point doing an MRI at this stage and to come back in a couple of months if it's still causing me problems. (!!)

Firstly, does that sound right? Everything I've read about swelling is that it should go down in a few days.

So should I go back to the GP and get them to investigate further?
I did have this issue a few years ago and I had my knee drained (at least I think it was the same knee!). But when I mentioned this to him, he didn't seem to what to go down that route. Again...is this something he should be looking at doing?

I'm off to see a physio tomorrow so will be asking them the same questions because this is driving me crackers!

I'm 48 and feel like this isn't just mild wear and tear.


Thanks x


  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,416
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Sweatpea
    Thanks for your post to Helplines. When you've been diagnosed with osteoarthritis affecting your knee, you may want to review how you self-manage your condition.
    You've mentioned that you've been trying to limit some activities and the guidance mentions avoiding 'high impact' exercise (so running may well fall into that category.)
    But overall the guidance encourages eating a balanced diet to keep bodyweight down and to keep up physical activity so that your supporting muscles don't weaken.
    If you feel you'd like some more advice and guidance, then a referral to physiotherapy may be a good option.
    Overall with osteoarthritis, the long-term guidance is about exercise and diet. But in the short-term you may want a bit more guidance on elevating your knee (when you are at rest) and using things like an ice pack if it feels inflamed.


    best wishes