Q. I have severe burning pain in my left knee. Could this be rheumatoid arthritis or an effusion?

Answered by
Dr. Atul Prakash
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 24, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am 53 years old with no significant medical history. I have been trying to lose weight and recently increase my level of activity by practicing yoga for 20 minutes a day. I am 5'2,'' and my weight is 141 pounds. Around last week I noticed some edema on my left upper knee that made walking a little difficult. It is not painful, but I was uncomfortable bending my knee as I could feel the extra tissue or edema. Today my inner left thigh started with a burning and sharp pain. The pain is severe and gets worse by standing. Straightening my leg hurts the back of my inner upper thigh. I have to work tomorrow from 8 AM to 8 PM. Should I call sick tonight to follow up with my doctor tomorrow? Is it something serious such as a blood clot, that I have to be concerned about? My CBC, BNP, UA, cholesterol level, and blood sugar level are all normal. I am taking a Multivitamin tablet once a day.



Welcome to

Yes, there is a visible difference in the circumference of the left thigh (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). It is difficult to be precise as the history and examination findings are limited. There is no history of injury. You are not at risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) as such. No diabetes, your BMI (body mass index) is fine, you are not on the pill, you are active till this happened, and there is no history of fever. There is no swelling in the calf, neither is there any color change. The points of concern are swelling (spontaneous onset), pain burning in nature and the fact that you are having difficulty walking, standing, and straightening the knee. It is entirely possible that you may have stretched the thigh, knee, or hamstring while doing yoga. This, however, would not explain burning pain. My suggestion will be to rest the leg, elevate and take anti-inflammatory tablets like Piroxicam or Naproxen and keep ice on the sore area. See if this helps in a day or two. If you are no better, then see a doctor for examination and diagnosis. Highly unlikely it to be a clot, but a formal examination is required. Please get back if you have further queries.

Hi doctor,

Thank you.

Could this be effusion or RA? I am attaching an image for your reference.



Welcome back to

There seems to be a swelling around the knee (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). Without examining you, it is difficult to differentiate between an effusion versus an extra-articular swelling. If you feel bending the knee makes you feel tight and stiff, it is likely that this is an effusion. This could be sympathetic to inflammation and swelling close by rheumatoid arthritis RA can present as a monoarticular swelling. Still, there will be no swelling outside the knee, and there should be no burning pain in the thigh. I will recommend you wait and try the rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory tablets to see if this helps. Is there family history, and do you have morning stiffness in the small joints of the hand? Please answer the question so that I can guide you accordingly.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Chymoral forte taken for edema in legs resulted in penile swelling. Kindly help.

Make sure he is not constipated if he has constipation you can give him Skylax three drops in a glass of water twice daily ...   Read full

I have pain and edema after being hit in the scrotum. Will my fertility be affected?

.. all, trauma on the testis is very common. As it is a very sensitive structure, pain and discomfort will be there and will persist for some weeks to months also. As your ultrasound is normal, it will not affect your fertility. So, do not worry. I ...   Read full

How do yoga practice help in losing weight?

Hi doctor,I think that I have a pinched nerve or herniated disc in my back right next to my left shoulder blade. It makes me hard to breathe. Before two days, my face, hands, and feet became numb and my eyes got twitching while driving. When I breath...   Read full


Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

Management of Coronasomnia
Coronasomnia refers to increased sleep problems among people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the below article to get...  Read more»
Balantidiasis - Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Balantidiasis is a rare bacterial infection caused by a parasite called Balantidium coli. Read the article below to know...  Read more»
JAK Inhibitors in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Doctors mainly suggest JAK or Janus kinase inhibitors for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to ease their symptoms. Rea...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Orthopaedician & Traumatologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.