I fell down brick stairs onto concrete almost a week ago.

Patient

Q: I fell down brick stairs onto concrete almost a week ago. I missed the last step and as I was falling, I twisted my body to the left so I wouldn't hurt my face or head. It was late at night so I hobbled to bed. In the AM I could not put any pressure on my right leg. My toes felt jammed but I could slightly bend, my food and leg were swollen (not as much as I'd have thought), my ankle was sore, my knee really hurt to straighten or bend and very few steps, there would be a searing pain in my calf (the back) that would make me cry out. 5 days later: there was never any bruising at all. Skin looks normal, no lumps or bumps or anything. Still one sore spot on the top of my foot and big toe hurts slightly when bending all the way. Pain in calf, is now a dull ache and when the sharp pain hits, its not as painful as originally but still very much so. My knee can easily bend and I can straighten it all the way though it hurts to do so and I'm afraid it'll lock. I can walk with a cane and take steps without it. However, trying to get out of chair is extremely painful and I have to sit to get dressed because I can't stand with all my weight on my right leg. I've made great strides considering where I started and I am certain nothing is broken so I'm not sure I should see a doctor if there's nothing that can done. However, considering its been a week and I can't go up or down stairs without extreme pain and effort, or stand up or put on my clothes without sitting, I'm worried I'm not as far along as I should be. I am overweight and had just gotten into a good workout routine (not related to fall) and I'm extremely anxious to get back! Basically, I want to know what you think I did (I think I twisted my knee and tore or sprained something in my calf), how long it may take to heal, and whether or not you think I should see a doctor. Thank you!

Symptoms:  Sharp pain in back of calf every 10 steps or so, dull ache in calf and knee. Can't put all weight on leg so have to sit to get dressed, really hard to git up from sitting position, etc.
Doctor

A:   Hello,

Thanks for posting your query at ATD.

Sudden twisting injury can put stretching strain on muscles of the calf region and can result in tearing of few muscle fibres in the region of upper to mid calf.

It usually takes 6-8 weeks to heal depending upon the severity of injury and activity level.

You should apply ice packs to the calf region and should also take OTC available analgesics for pain relief.
Twisting injury similarly may have affected big toe and will require same course of treatment.

As far knee injury is considered, it requires clinical assessment as meniscal injury can result from trivial twisting injury. Symptom of locking of knee is especially seen in such injuries.

Pain on standing up from sitting as well as walking upstairs and downstairs puts extra strain on quadriceps as well as calf muscles much more than walking on a leveled floor, therefore you experience symptoms of pain more during these activities. As the injuries heal the symptoms will subside.

My recommendation is visiting your local orthopedic doctor if symptoms of knee locking and great toe pain continues or worsens. X-ray of the foot is also required to rule out bony injury as it can be missed at times due to less intensity of symptoms.

Kindly revert back in case of doubts. Feel free to discuss further.
Regards

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