Haemarthrosis is bleeding into a joint (haem' means blood and 'arthrosis' means joint).

swollen knee and haemarthrosis knee capsule swollen with haemarthrosis haemarthrosis of the knee
Haemarthrosis can result in acute and painful knee swelling. Larger amounts after injury or surgery are generally aspirated with a needle and syringe.  The blood is contained within the joint capsule, which can become very tense. Aspiration with a syringe and needle can offer rapid relief. X-ray of young person with haemarthrosis - © Nevit Dilmen [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons

 

What causes an haemarthrosis?

Haemarthrosis may result from damage to blood vessels from injury or surgery, or spontaneously in bleeding disorders such as haemophilia.

Synonyms: 
hemarthrosis
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Enclosing the articulating part of the knee joint is a water-tight capsule made of a strong fibrous material lined on the inside with a thin layer of secretory cells.

X-rays after an acute knee injury

Part 3 of a course by Mr (Dr) Adrian Wilson on assessing the severely swollen knee after an injury.

Examining the acutely injured swollen knee

Part 2 of a course by Mr (Dr) Adrian Wilson on assessing the severely swollen knee after an injury.

Assessing the severely swollen knee after an injury

On the sports field, the practitioner may have to make a quick assessment of the severity of a knee injury. This paper discusses how one might evaluate the injured knee that has suddenly filled up with blood.

Assessing the severely swollen knee after an injury - the context

Part 1 of a course by Mr (Dr) Adrian Wilson on assessing the severely swollen knee after an injury.

Short note by Dr Frank Noyes regarding draining a haemarthrosis.

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CLINICAL PUBLICATIONS

Acute knee haemarthrosis: a case report describing diagnosis and management for a patient on anticoagulation medication. Ross MD, Elliott R. Physiother Res Int. 2011 Jun;16(2):120-3.

Traumatic haemarthrosis of the knee. Ansari MZ, Ahee P, Iqbal MY, Swarup S. Eur J Emerg Med. 2004 Jun;11(3):145-7.


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