infectious knee joint, knee effusion, monoarticular arthritis, septic arthritis, septic knee joint, soft tissue knee injury



  1. Hoyt, K. Sue RN, PhD, FNP, APRN, BC, CEN, FAEN
  2. Peard, Amy Smith MSN, ENP, CEN, CNS


Knee injuries represent some of the most clinically challenging musculoskeletal disorders in emergency department patients. One of these is knee effusion. Knee joint swelling may be due to inflammation, infection, trauma, or other causes. The purpose of this article is to discuss the assessment and management of patients with knee effusions via an actual case presentation. It is imperative for the healthcare provider to appropriately assess and manage the patient with a knee effusion since it may be a septic joint. Failure to recognize the severity of the problem may lead to increased morbidity and mortality.