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Swollen scalped knee, right MCL tear, valgus worse. Surgery optional?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
I'm a mature med school student, and so am embarrassed to ask this, but after a lot of searching, still have no answer: I damaged my knee showing off on some seashore rocks about 20 yrs. ago. I did nothing at the time (it swelled, then improved after a few weeks), but over the last 2 yrs., it's giving me lots of problems, esp. going down stairs. It's a right MCL tear, with a loose piece or two of bone (?) rattling around inside the fluid. It's not inflamed, but there's a 4-cm2 swollen patch on the lateral side above the knee that's constant, like a weird lipoma. Is there anything new in the way of an operation? Everything I read says that such operations are not really successful, and anyway are done only for better athletes, and only if done immediately after the injury. If surgery isn't an option, what is? I'm worried because my valgus is getting worse over the past year. What, do I need a brace already?! Thanks!
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 21 minutes later

I am Dr. Mazumdar, a General Physician.

I have sent your query to a XXXXXXX Knee Surgeon. He generally replies within 24 hours.

Meanwhile can you please send us a scanned copy of the MRI & Xray reports taken?

As you know any investigation details shall help the surgeon better.

Awaiting your reply.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Swollen scalped knee, right MCL tear, valgus worse. Surgery optional? 27 minutes later
No, that's what I meant -- I have no MRI. I did have an x-ray taken more than a year ago, but never saw it; the young dr. at the time just took a brief look at it and said, "You have a bit of arthritis." She was reluctant to send me for an MRI because this was in Canada, and they're trying to cut costs if there's no real necessity. She didn't think this was a necessity. Mind you, I could still do stairs pretty well at the time.

Sure hope the ortho surgeon can help.
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 3 hours later
You seem to have one or more loose bone fragments in your knee. There is a condition called Osteochondritis dissecans which results from trauma and lead to fragmentation of cartilage and bone from the articular surface. It usually affects young people.
Since you don't have access to your MRI report, I would recommend that you get standing x rays of your knee and MRI scans for the diagnosis. If you want I can send you a request.
Please visit this website, WWW.WWWW.WW to learn more about this condition. In India, cartilage regeneration is an exciting new option to repair this local damage. A brace won't help.


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