Post traumatic knee pain in a young female

Patient

Q: About two weeks ago, I lost my balance and fell off an elevated surface. I landed on the inside of my left knee. Swelling and bruising occurred immediately. I was able to walk and bend my knee, but had some pain. I went home and put ice on it and the next day I had really no pain and the swelling went down, but there was numbness on the right side of my knee cap. The following weekend, the numbness faded and was replaced by moderate pain. On a scale from 1-10, the pain is about a 5 if just relaxing but it shoots up to a 9 if my knee is touched. Being that I can walk and bear weight on my knee, is this something I should worry about?

Doctor

A:    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.

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