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Swollen knee, soreness, ankle popping, hurts to bend knee, taking Motrin. What could it be?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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Hi! My left knee down to the top of my left foot is very sore. The knee is swollen & also the inside of my lower leg, sort of between my XXXXXXX & calf. The top of my foot is very sore to the touch & I've noticed I hear & feel my knee & ankle pop quite a bit lately. Hurts to bend knee, stand up, or anything that puts any type of strain or pressure on this knee. The knee/leg pain started the beginning of December 2011. Some days are worse than others & the past 2 weeks I have noticed it getting worse. The top of my foot didn't start hurting til about 2 weeks ago. What could it be? I do not have insurance, so I have been taking motrin & putting ice on it. Is there anything else I can do? Thank you!!
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

From your description, the swelling and pain without any history of injury could be due to infection or reactive synovitis.
An MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) of the knee is the best investigation to find out the cause.
Such symptoms mostly subside by taking antiinflammatory agents and mild pain killers like ibuprofen. In some cases for acute problem muscle relaxants like thiocolchicoside are needed after consulting with your orthopaedician.
If still there is no relief then oral steroids and oral lubricating agents like glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin are given. Injections - intra- articular are the last options to be considered if all the above measures fail.

In the meanwhile, for symptomatic relief:
1. Give enough rest to your knee- use a knee brace. Avoid weight bearing on the knee at all costs.
2. Continue taking mild pain killers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
3. Stronger prescription NSAIDS (pain killers) with muscle relaxants may help if simple analgesics do not help.
4. Hot compresses to your knee will be useful pain relieving measure. You may apply a local analgesic gel on that area.
5. calf and hamstring stretches can be helpful under the guidance of a physiotherapist after the acute pain subsides completely.
6. Generally we recommended, rest, graded exercises, rest and graded exercises to let you know the right amount of time you can spend on exercise without injuring yourself.
Right now if the above said measures do not help in bringing the relief then you must consult an Orthopedician for proper investigations and further treatment.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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