The acutely swollen knee. Part 1: Management of atraumatic pathology.

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The acutely swollen knee. Part 1: Management of atraumatic pathology.

J R Nav Med Serv. 2014;100(1):24-33

Authors: Guyver PM, Arthur CH, Hand CJ

The acutely swollen knee is a common presentation of knee pathology in the Emergency Department and the primary care setting whether on board ship, a Regimental Aid Post or Medical Centre. The swollen knee has both traumatic and atraumatic (systemic) causes, all of which can be accurately diagnosed with an understanding of the underlying injury patterns and patho-anatomy. In Part One, we will be examining the management of non-traumatic causes, followed by Part Two, looking at traumatic causes, in the next issue of the Journal. A detailed clinical history combined with thorough clinical examination will establish the diagnosis, or at least the narrow differential diagnosis in the majority of cases. The uses of specialist examination techniques, diagnostic imaging and arthrocentesis can further assist the clinician in confirming the correct diagnosis and thus prescribing the appropriate treatment. This review will endeavour to give a consensus of opinion and structured guidelines in the diagnosis and initial management of patients presenting with acute or recent-onset swelling of the knee related to atraumatic pathology.

PMID: 24881423 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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