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Bruised and swollen foot, lump on knee, knee pain, treated with ice and Advil

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
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i am a 48 year old male in decent shape but a bit over weight. I have mysterious bruising and swelling on my right foot and ankle. a few weeks ago my right knee became tender with slight swelling for no apparent reason. i did not pay much attention until about a week ago when, after a strenuous day, i developed a golf ball size lump to the bottom outside side of my knee cap (if 12 oclock is the top of my knee it would be about 8). i treated with ice, rest and advil and saw marked improvement by morning. Over the past week the pain and swelling have rotated to the upper outside corner of my knee (11 oclock). And last night my foot became bruised and swollen and the knee pain is worse although i have full range of motion and can bear weight.The earliest appt I could get at an ortho is a week away, but I am wondering if the wandering pain point and/or bruising on my ankle/foot is cause for alarm...
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 6 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I'm glad you were able to describe the exact details of your condition. Lets evaluate the possibilities of the problems that you most likely seem to suffer.

The trouble started with the foot and ankle in form of bruising and swelling. There could be many reasons for that. Then it migrates to one knee and gives a lump as well. Now that narrows our diagnosis to following-
1. An infection, mild septicemia.
2. Crystal induced arthritis like gout.
3. Weight induced cyclic micro trauma causing transient joint swelling and bruising.
4. Bleeding in joints due to blood disorders like haemophilia or sickle cell anaemia (I suppose you suffer neither of them).
5. Some form of synovitis like villonodular synovitis or infective synovitis.

If the inflammation of your joint is due to infection then it is a cause to be alarmed since failure to diagnosis this may result in irreversible joint damage.

In any case you need to take certain precautions till you see your orthopaedician.
1. Take rest and do not bear weight on affected knee.
2. Continue ice fomentation.
3. Crepe bandage to prevent the swelling to flare up.
4. Elevate the limb over a pillow.
5. Do not unnecessarily bend the knee, climb stairs or squat, and do not exercise.
6. To recommend medicines is beyond the scope of our services, but you need anti inflammatory drugs to help reduce the swelling and pain.

In the mean while, I encourage you to consult an orthopedics for proper examination and complete evaluation.

Hope I answered your query. If you need my help with any other concerns, I'm available for follow up.

Best wishes
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