Dr. Dugan explains what swelling of the knee can indicate.
Swelling is an indication of inflammation, usually occurs with an acute injury. So when you first injure yourself if a tissue is bruised or torn, the body sends a lot of blood and cells to that area and causes swelling in a way to send sort of the repairmen in, if you will.
Swelling in the knee is particularly problematic because we also have this very interesting innate mechanism if your knee is swollen so that your quadriceps muscle will not fire as strongly. It’s almost a way to protect our joint, and if we allow chronic swelling, we end up with chronic thigh weakness or quadriceps weakness, which makes rehabilitation a lot harder.
About Dr. Dugan, M.D.:
Dr. Sheila A. Dugan, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rush Medical College, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. She is a faculty member of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Preventive Medicine. She is co-medical director of the Rush Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health.
Dr. Dugan is multi board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine and pain medicine. She is highly skilled in neurological and sports-related rehabilitation. Prior to medical school, she received her physical therapy degree from Northwestern University in 1986. She's currently pursuing development of a program focused on women's musculoskeletal care, including both their medical and rehabilitation needs.