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Fell on knee, have cut and burning pain, stiff knee and ankle, swelling and bruising. Should I go to doctor?

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Practicing since : 2008
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My mothe-in-law is 81 and fell on her knee ABOUT A WEEK AGO. She can walk but has a cut on knee ( knee cap area) with a burning pain in cut and a stiff knee and ankle. About 3 days into it, her leg began swelling from knee down to and including foot, with XXXXXXX purple bruising on front of leg mostly. She is visiting us now and she had not treated herself, but we are putting ice on knee and leg, having her elevate her leg and I will be giving her Ibrupofen now every four hours. Should she go to doctor when she goes home MonDAY?
thank you
Posted Fri, 21 Sep 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later

Thank you for the query!

Most likely your mother-in-law is suffering from hematoma located somewhere inside muscles. This happens when during the trauma some blood vessels gets ruptured and blood gets out from vessels to the space inside the muscles. This causes compression of the muscles and other vessels. When muscles and vessels get squeezed blood can not flow freely. This leads to tissues necrosis and can be life-treating. Moreover, veins compressions causes veins thrombosis. Both thrombosis and hematoma occurs with leg swelling.

Your mother-in-law should visit a doctor right away. According to mentioned symptoms, some surgery might be necessary (hematoma should be cut and evacuated). Also anticoagulants should be prescribed.
There is also a risk of bones fractures so the X-rays should be performed. Knee stiffness might be also caused by some liquid present inside the knee, which should be drained as well.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions

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