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What is the difference between edema and effusion?

Edema is swelling that occurs outside a joint. Effusion is swelling within a joint.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Gustavus Adolphus College Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.