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Broke bones in legs due to accident. Swollen. Drained fluid, but have swelling. Any suggestions?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1997
Answered : 150 Questions
I was in a motorcycle accident 4 weeks ago, and my right leg smashed into the drivers door of the pickup that turned in front of me. I had no broken bones in that leg but it is still swelled,from my knee to my toes, and feels hot and tinglely. It gets worse at night when sleeping. My doctor drained fluid from two spots on the legs, 4 days ago, but the swelling has returned. The fluid was tested at the lab, and there was no infection in it. My doctor doesn't seem to know whats wrong, but will order an mri if it isn't better by my next visit, which is still 10 days away. Any suggestions? UPDATE: 24 hours have past since I wrote this question last night, and the swelling on left side of my knee is increasing. Worse now than its ever been.
Posted Sat, 19 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Moustafa Saeed 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Crush injury

Detailed Answer:
Hi, I just picked up your question at is related to my specialty.

It seems you developed crush injury to your lower leg, and possibly haematoma (blood collection) or seroma (collection of clear fluid) has developed in your leg, from which your doctor has aspirated the fluids.
It is good news that there is no infection in it.

I will advise you to exercise your knee, ankle and toes which will help the circulation in the leg and decrease the swelling and the tingling.
You also need to check the kidney function by simple blood test if has not been done already as it can be affected after crush injuries.

MRI scan will be very useful to look into the extent of the injury including bone and soft tissue, I will recommend it.

I hope I have answered your question adequately, please write back if you have more concerns.

wish you speedy recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Broke bones in legs due to accident. Swollen. Drained fluid, but have swelling. Any suggestions? 7 hours later
Should I go to ER today for MRI and show them your answer, or wait and call my doctor on Monday the 30th to schedule an MRI. My knee is swollen worst this morning, and wondering if I should have some of the fluid drained. Also how much longer before it gets better, because it is very uncomfortable and painful. I thank you for your accurate and speedy response.
Thank you again
Answered by Dr. Moustafa Saeed 38 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes go to ER

Detailed Answer:

If it is not very expensive for you to go to ER, then it will be good idea.
They will examine your leg and do some tests including repeat X-ray scan if clinically indicated.

However showing them my answers my sounds strange to them as it is provided for general information purposes.

all the best
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Broke bones in legs due to accident. Swollen. Drained fluid, but have swelling. Any suggestions? 15 hours later
I went to the ER and they drained some of the fluid from my leg. The doctor explained my injury, and why it was swelling. It was as you said. He gave me a script for compression socks(the long ones). I was not able to get them because, all pharmacies that I called did not carry them and told me that I had to go to a certain medical supply store in town but they were closed for the weekend. I did find some at Walmart, but am not sure they are exactly the same, because they only go to the knee and not over the knee. They will do till Monday and seem to really help, but do I remove the sock when I am sleeping?
Thank you again for your help. XXXXX
Answered by Dr. Moustafa Saeed 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes remove at night

Detailed Answer:
I am glad to hear back from you.
You need to take them off when you go to bed, and put them back on in the morning.

See if you can find tubegrip or similar which can be cut to measure.
I think the ER doctor gave you prescription for anti DVT compression stockings which usually doesn't reach the knee. And that why you can't find the longer one.

All the best
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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