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Question:

Knee pain and swelling two months after a fall

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Hello! Really hoping to get some assistance as I do not currently have health insurance and worry I may have some serious injury. Two months ago I fell going up some stairs, and the corner of a step ended right under my kneecap. It was swollen for about a week so I went to the clinic, they took and xray and said it wasn't fractured and the swelling would go away with rest. The swelling did go down, and my knee felt fine until a couple days ago. I have a lot of soreness, slight swelling, and some twitching in that leg. Part of me feels it may be due to the weather change, but if there is a possibility of something more, I figure it is better safe than sorry to get a professional opinion.


Answer:

 Direct blows to the knee may produce injury of the ligaments, menisci, bones or capsule, but if you do not have significant swelling or deformity, no limitation on your active movements (flexion, extension), and your x-rays came out normal then a fracture or dislocation can be ruled out. Also if you do not have any instability or locking, then a menisci lesion may be ruled out. What I advise you at this point is the use of local ice, rest, elevation of the leg, anti-inflammatory medication (as “aleve”, “motrin”).If you follow these recommendations, you have a great chance that the normal function return in few days, but if the pain, swelling persist or get worse , then an Orthopedic Surgeon must evaluate the injured knee.


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