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Swelling on right leg patella. Unable to move and limping. Had bypass heart surgery. Suggest the treatment?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 189 Questions
Hi Doc,

My dad is 70 years old and when he was walking yesterday he got a sudden swelling on his right leg patella. He was noy even able to move. now he has gotten better but limping. what could be the reason? he had bye pass heart surgery 10 years before and leads a very active life
Posted Mon, 23 Sep 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Sathyadharan Panneer 12 hours later
Brief Answer:
Osteoarthritis Knee

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for writing in.

Sudden swelling in the knee without any injury at this age could be due to Osteo-arthritis. Since your father had bye-pass heart surgery, he should be on some anti-platelet drugs. These drugs increase the bleeding tendency. So your dad might be suffering from Haemarthrosis.

I have seen the picture which you have uploaded. I can see a minimal swelling in the Right knee, but needs complete clinical examination. Consult your doctor. Your doctor will advice him to take a Xray of his knee. If Haemarthrosis (blood inside the joint) is significant, your doctor might aspirate the blood and might change the dosage of anti-platelet drugs (if any ).

Till that time, keep ice pack over the knee - 3 to 4 times a day (30 minutes per session) for 2 days. Apply elastic crepe bandage around the knee. Avoid bending the knee, avoid using stairs etc whichever increases pain in the knee.

Wish him a good health.
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