Skip Navigation LinksHome > November 2009 - Volume 25 - Issue 11 > Approach to Knee Effusions
Pediatric Emergency Care:
doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3181bec987
CME Review Articles

Approach to Knee Effusions

Mathison, David J. MD*†; Teach, Stephen J. MD, MPH*†

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Abstract

The presence of an intra-articular knee effusion requires an extensive differential diagnosis and a systematic diagnostic approach. Pediatric knee effusions occur most commonly as acute hemarthroses after traumatic injury. However, the knee joint is susceptible to effusions secondary to a wide variety of atraumatic causes. Special attention is required in the atraumatic effusion to distinguish features of infectious, postinfectious, rheumatologic, hematologic, vasculitic, and malignant disease. This review discusses the various etiologies of both traumatic and atraumatic pediatric knee effusions highlighting the historical, physical examination, and laboratory characteristics to aid the emergency provider in diagnosis and initial management.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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