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Meniscal injury.

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Hello. I recently injured my knee- I simply turned my leg to stand up out of a chair and I felt a cracking/ popping sensation with lots of pain. For the next 10 days, I was unable to bend my knee without pain so I avoided doing that. I iced it 20 minutes on/ off for a few of those days (after speaking with a physical therapist friend of mine). It started feeling a bit better, gaining a bit more range of motion until the same thing happened at work- getting up out of a chair (more gingerly that time since I was paranoid about the pain from the initial injury). This time my knee locked in a roughly 90 degree position and I felt the severe pain again when trying to straighten or bend it. I immediately went to an orthopedic urgent care but unfortunately, as I just started a new job and my medical coverage hasn't begun, I have yet to get an MRI. Meanwhile, I have been wearing a hinged brace and taking Alleve.

My question right now is this: wearing the brace certainly gives me security that I won't twist my knee or bend it too far. BUT my leg and hip are so stiff and tense from keeping it straight. Without the MRI, I understand that a true diagnosis cannot be given but should I be trying to bend at all? My leg is so stiff and the psychological aspect of knowing that I could possibly experience that pain again is making me even more tense. I also now fear that keeping my leg so tense and straight will do further damage than good- like weakening of the muscles, etc.

Am I doing the right thing for now until I can get an MRI? Should I remove the brace here and there to ice the knee? Currently, I only remove it to shower and immediately put it back on.

Thank you in advance for your time and any advice/ info you can provide.

Category: Orthopedic Surgeon

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Category: Spine Surgeon
Dr. Mukesh Tiwari is online now

Expert:  Dr. Mukesh Tiwari replied 4 Days.

Welcome at Doctorspring.com
I have read your question with diligence.
It looks from your details that most probably you may be having injury to meniscus of your knee.
Meniscus are structures which act like cushions when we bear weigh over the knee.
Presence of locking is diagnostic for that.

MRI is diagnostic, get it done when you can. Till then you will have to rest your knee. Do not do activities that put pressure on your knee like squatting, kneeling, twisting and pivoting, repetitive bending (eg, stairs, getting out of a seated position, clutch and pedal pushing), jogging, exercise classes, dancing, swimming using the frog or whip kick, and bicycling.

If the pain or pressure is your leg is too much you can take the OTC tablet Ibuprofen 400 mg when required.

After MRI is done and a definite diagnosis is made, based on the scan results you can begin straight leg raising exercises without weights as the pain begins to wane with the goal of strengthening the quadriceps and hamstring muscles to provide support to the joint

If this tear is large then this should be treated by removing the part of menisci.
Location of tear at menisci at different part also change the mode of treatment.

Till then protected weight bearing and ice fermentation will help you. Yes remove your braces and do ice fermentation for 15 minutes 3 times a day. When you are resting, keep your leg elevated.
Hope this will help you.
With best wishes.

Dr. Mukesh Tiwari
Category: Spine Surgeon
Fellowship - Khandaka Hospital, Jaipur
Residency - MS, Rabindranath Tagore Medical College, Udaipur, 2000
Medical School, Internship - MBBS, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, 1995
Dr. Mukesh Tiwari and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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