Patient: I woke up and my knee was slightly sore. I walked around for a few hours, it didn’t get much better. I hit it on a corner and it hurt, bad. It now hurts to bend, throbbing stops when I don’t move it, and some of the strength is gone. My pattellar reflex in that knee is also not responding (it usually does, my right knee is responding fine) There is some slight swelling. Should I be worried?
Doctor: Direct blows to the knee may produce injury of the ligaments, menisci, bones 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, elevation of the leg, anti-inflammatory drugs (as “advil”) and the use of a knee immobilizer. If all these directions are followed, then the normal function should return in few days, but if the pain, swelling and limitation on the movements persist an Orthopedic Surgeon must re-evaluate the injured knee.