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Swelling, pain and numb skin after injury. Fracture ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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About 2 1/2 weeks ago, I fell down a few steps, and landed on my behind. For the first week, it was swollen and black. Now, the bruising is gone, but the swelling is still there. I went to a chiropractor who said that nothing it broken, but it will take a long time to fully heal. I'm wondering how long is long. I am 41 and otherwise healthy.
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 9 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

If there is no associated sensory disturbances and bladder and bowel problems then probably it is only a X-ray or MRI of the spine to rule out any fractures.

The soft tissue injury like yours usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to heal completely with adequate rest. You can do a cold fomentation and take over the counter mild pain killers for any pain.

If the symptoms do not resolve then investigations like CT scan and MRI are entailed. I encourage you to consult an orthopedician who can guide you through the tests.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.


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Follow-up: Swelling, pain and numb skin after injury. Fracture ? 9 hours later
There are no bladder or bowel problems.

It only hurts when I sit in certain positions (most are fine), or if something accidentally hits it.

And, the skin around part of the swollen area seems to be numb.

So, here are my follow-up questions:

1. If there IS a fracture somewhere, could anything be done about it on that part of my body?

2. Do I need to be concerned about anything besides a fracture?

3. My chiropractor said to alternate ice and heat. You say only cold. Why?

4. What do you know about arnica? Does it help?

Thank you so much for your help!


Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 3 hours later

Thanks for writing again.

If there is a fracture, then it is seen if it is compressing any nerve roots. However, you can go for MRI to rule out this possibility.

Nerve injury is more important rather than fracture itself.

Management depends on the diagnosis.

Hot fomentation might increase swelling due to hematoma, may aggravate localised bleeding.

You can use Arnica to relieve inflammation and pain.

I hope, I have answered your query.

Wishing you an early recovery.

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