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Knee Swelling and Stiffness After a Fall

Question:

Dear TAI Experts:

About a month and a half ago I tripped and all my weight landed hard on my right knee on concrete. There was no twisting or anything, I landed right on it. It hurt immediately after and there was some swelling and bruising but nothing to suggest anything was broken or seriously wrong. The morning after I woke up and my knee was completely stiff. I couldn’t walk on that knee. There was one bruise right where I hit, on my kneecap. There wasn’t much pain if I didn’t push on it or try to bend it. After about three days I was able to return to work. I am a server so I have to run around a lot. It was tender, but only certain movements hurt, like when I kind of tripped over a box and had to react so I wouldn’t fall. Now when I sit for a while and get up it feels stiff and I tried to run yesterday and it started to hurt after about ten minutes. I can put pressure anywhere on or around my knee and can’t find a place where it hurts, it’s inside. It’s also still a little more swollen than the left. It looks a bit different. I don’t have insurance so I was hoping it would just go away. I am willing to go now if it sounds like I should?

Answer:

Without examining your knee I cannot comment specifically on your condition, but pain through the knee with work and recreation can be created by dysfunction of the cartilage, muscles, ligaments, or bone. Strain that is more than the body can handle can cause pain from swelling. In general, icing the knee for 10-15 minutes may help. If the pain does not lessen, a referral to a local physical therapist for creation of an individualized program of stretching and strengthening can help return the knee to movements that are closer to normal and decrease pain when jogging.

Christine Fletcher PT, DPT

Knee Swelling and Stiffness After a Fall

 


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