Knee hemarthrosis, causes, treatment

The condition is quite common in people and does not have a specific age group. It can appear even in infancy and develop as one of the symptoms of hemophilia. The first signs of hemarthrosis can occur in children from one to three years old, and during their life they often remind themselves. 

A larger risk group includes middle-aged people who are most likely to be injured in joints. This is affected by the effects of tension on the knee due to professional activities, including, for example, athletes who often get injured.

Often, knee joint hemarthrosis can occur in older people due to weak muscles and bones, the condition of which is associated with age-related changes in the body.

The knee joint, along with the elbow and wrist joints, is often susceptible to the development of a condition such as hemarthrosis, which constitutes a hemorrhage in the joint cavity. The most common causes of injurysoft tissues are all kinds of mechanical damage, sports, knee loads, as well as certain systemic diseases of the body.

Causes of Hemarthrosis

The leading line in the causes of hemarthrosis is injury.

Moreover, due to the complex structure of the joints, which already experience daily stress, they undergo diverse injuries, including:

  1. Dislocations and sprains
  2. Meniscus tear
  3. Bone fractures
  4. Severe soft tissue injuries
  5. Blood vessel damage
  6. Capsule breaks

Hemarthrosis of the knee joint is one of the most common diseases among athletes, in particular those who are careless and sometimes neglect the rules of the game and safety measures. The most traumatic sports include figure skating, hockey, soccer, athletics and weightlifting, and equipment-related sports. Such species often contribute to fractures, all kinds of dislocations, direct blows to the knee and injury to them.

A certain danger is represented by household injuries, which are:

  • knee falling on a hard surface, for example, on asphalt or ice;
  • bruises and damage received during the repair, relocation of furniture.

In addition, people whose professional activities are associated with frequent movements, construction work, as well as ignoring safety regulations have a considerable risk of hemarthrosis.

Symptoms of Hemarthrosis

The main symptom of a developing disease is hemorrhage. It is equally found in both children and adults. Sometimes in childhood, hemarthrosis with initial symptoms is easy to confuse with hemophilia due to increased bleeding. With hemophilia, poor blood coagulability is characteristic, because a mechanical effect on the joint can provoke the early development of hemarthrosis against the background of existing hemophilia.

An unfavorable consequence of hemarthrosis is its systemic nature, when the disease reminds itself during life and, due to frequent hemorrhage in the knee joint, contributes to the destruction of cartilage and the development of various arthrosis and arthritis.

The process of manifestation of the disease occurs immediately or maximum within an hour after damage, when the joint increases sharply in size due to the filling of its cavity with blood. As a rule, during this time, it accumulates from 50 to 100 ml.

Bruises and fractures provoke the bursting of small and large vessels, rupture of their walls and leakage of blood into soft tissues and joint cavity. Stretching the joint capsule due to the accumulation of blood in it leads to acute pain and a decrease in the motor activity of the joint.

In addition, knee hemarthrosis has such specific symptoms as:

  1. Pain progression
  2. Pretty fast joint enlargement in size
  3. Protrusion of a joint on either side of the leg
  4. Swelling and swelling of the bruising side wasps
  5. Palpation pain
  6. Bluish skin color if a large joint is damaged, and crimson if small
  7. Redness and bruising of the skin
  8. Decreased joint mobility

With existing hemophilia, the manifestation of hemarthrosis can be latent for a long time. In this case, at first the disease is accompanied by temporary discharge of blood clots, which gradually destroy the cartilage tissue, the functionality of the ligaments is impaired and the vessels are injured.

The consequences of hemarthrosis

The main danger of the disease is that the blood circulation is disturbed at the site of damage, the development of the breakdown of blood cells occurs, which release harmful substances that contribute to damage to cartilage.

The consequences of the protracted disease can lead to the formation of adhesions from the scar bone in the knee joint, which already has an irreversible process. Degenerative disorders caused by the development of the disease lead to the progression of osteoarthritis, joint weakness and the vulnerability of local blood vessels.

Hemarthrosis can take chronic forms, when inflammatory processes associated with microbes and infections penetrating into the damaged joint cavity join the underlying disease. Frequent fellow travelers of hemarthrosis are infectious arthritis, purulent synovitis, bursitis. Especially often they occur if you do not take measures to treat hemarthrosis of the knee joint.


Symptoms that appear, indicating the possibility of the disease, are confirmed by a diagnostic examination using an MRI or ultrasound of the knee. Also, for any bruises and fractures, it is mandatory to conduct an X-ray examination carried out in two projections on the knee joint.

Another mandatory method of examination is the puncture of the joint cavity. If blood is detected in the punctate, this indicates the obvious presence of hemarthrosis in a person, if fat is present in the analysis, then this is a fracture. Punctuation is not only a research method, but also a therapy. During the analysis, when part of the fat or blood that has accumulated in the knee joint is eliminated, the patient’s condition improves significantly, pain and swelling disappear, and mobility returns.

When confirming the diagnosis, treatment is prescribed, based primarily on ensuring rest in the damaged joint, which is carried out using a splint or splint. In addition, in the first hour after the injury, it is necessary to apply ice to the diseased joint as first aid while at home.

A faster visit to the doctor can guarantee the patient a more conservative treatment, which can be based both on traditional medicine and bandages, as well as easier rehabilitation and prevention in the future.

If the process is already in an active stage of development or a call to the doctor is started, then the following procedures can be applied among the treatment methods:

  1. Medication (painkillers, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs)
  2. Removing blood by piercing and flushing the joint
  3. Injection into the joint of glucocorticosteroid drugs, such as hydrocortisone or diprospan, which allow faster activation of joint mobility
  4. If hemarthrosis is accompanied by purulent synovitis, antibiotics are administered inside the joint
  5. Plaster or tight dressing for up to three weeks
  6. Physiotherapy and exercise therapy

Surgical intervention is required in cases where the disease takes a chronic or neglected form.


The main way to protect yourself from the possible development of the disease is to comply with safety rules during the performance of certain activities – sports, professional, household. When playing sports, even amateur, it is worth worrying about protection methods – wear knee pads, bandages, tight clothes.

Prevention of hemarthrosis, which had taken place earlier, is to not bring the condition to a chronic form and timely and thorough treatment, regularly visit a doctor and try not to engage in traumatic sports.

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