Managment of Knee Sprain after Blunt Force Trauma

Patient

Q: I recently received a blunt force trauma to the inner side of my left knee.I went to the hospital and they did x-rays and said it was not broken anywhere and it was sprained.It is swollen up almost the size of my thigh,it looks like my thigh turns directly into my tibia.There is not any substantial pain in the knee.The pain I feel is above the knee in the front of my thigh.So my ? is why do I feel the pain there and not in the knee

Doctor

A:   Causes of knee pain can sometimes be diagnosed by the mechanism of injury.  There is not enough information to help me narrow a diagnosis but a negative X-ray is reassuring and confirms there is no fracture or misalignment of the bony structures.
If your bones are healthy, there has likely been some soft tissue damage. Soft tissue includes structures such as ligaments, tendons and musculature of the knee.  Soft tissue injuries often results in inflammation and swelling in the surrounding area of damage.
Initial management of the inflammation includes, rest, elevation and regular application of ice. Anti-inflammatories, if not medically contraindicated can be used.
After 24 hours, rest, elevation, Anti-inflamatories are still recommended.  Ice can be continued or replaced with heat if it provides more relief.
If the inflammation and swelling has not resolved after one week, I often advise an ultrasound or MRI to better visualize the soft tissue and determine if physical therapy, surgery or both are required for treatment.
Good luck

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