Fluid buildup on knee after injury - possible ACL tear
Patient : I suffered a bad fall about ten days ago...hit my knee very hard...it got very swollen right away and severely bruised, but I was able to walk on without too much pain. I was always under the impression if you broke a bone or tore a ligament that walking was impossible so I didn't think it was that serious. I have never broken a bone or had any time of injury of that nature before so really was clueless. Last Saturday, about four days ago, I woke up and noticed fluid had collected on my knee...not a tremendous amount...I have been reading some people's stories of their knee being swollen like a grapefruit...no not that bad...but theres a nice pocket of fluid to be sure and enough to be concerned about. I don't have insurance so had put off seeing a doctor up until that point, but the presence of the fluid scared me...and my knee was still very very sore and it just felt like there was something definitely NOT RIGHT about my knee. I also could hear a distinct "popping" sound when I tried to bend my knee and straighten it again. I went to Urgent Care and they xrayed it...no breaks or fractures, but upon examination the doctor said theres a 70% chance I tore my ACL, and that an MRI is needed to confirm that. I cannot afford that...am going to try and see if I can get Medicaid, but in the meanwhile...its the fluid thats concerning me. The doctor didn't say much about it, I asked if it needed to be drained and he really didn't give me an answer one way or another...? Said it could be bleeding from the torn ACL...but the fluid buildup didn't accumulate until a week after my injury...so I'm wondering if it could be another type of fluid??
My question is this...will this fluid go away on its own? Are there any steps I can take to get rid of it aside from aspiration? I have been icing my knee every day and elevating it as well...and like I said, I can walk on it with some discomfort...bending is not easy...but its still very sore...and the area where the fluid has collected is almost hot to the touch.
Thank you so much for any help you can provide!!
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