Patient: My daughter over extended her knee during a soccer game last Sat. It hurt that day but she continued to play. It did not bother her again, but during soccer practise lastnight her leg started to hurt along the side of her calf. This morning it is really bothering her. She says it hurts to put weight on it. Should I take her to the Doc?
Doctor: Forced movements (rotational, flex-ext) or direct blows to the knee may produce injury of the ligaments, menisci, bones s or capsule, but if there is no significant swelling or deformity, and no limitation on the active movements (flexion, extension), a fracture or dislocation can be ruled out. Also if there is no instability or locking a menisci lesion may be also ruled out. The suggested strategy for the initial treatment includes: use of local ice, rest, avoid painful movements and/or activities, elevation of the leg, anti-inflammatory over the counter medication (as “advil”, “motrin”) and the use of a knee immobilizer as needed. If all these directions are followed, then the normal function should return in few days to weeks, the healing time depends on the severity of the initial injury and on every patient in particular, but if there is still pain, swelling and/or limitation on the movements, then, I strongly recommend an evaluation by an Orthopedic Surgeon to decide about the right imaging studies to order and determine the best treatment option for your daughter.