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Feel, hurt and has swelling. X-ray showed negative for fracture. Having swelling till calf. Serious?

Apr 2013
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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 9349 Questions
My husband fell & hurt his knee yesterday. It immediately started to swell. Xrays were negative for fracture. He has been doing RICE & ibuprofen, but a bit more than 24hrs later it is even more swollen & the swelling extends through the calf all th way into his foot. Is this cause for serious concern? Should he seek further medical care ASAP, or just wait until next week to try to get in to the ortho?
Posted Thu, 4 Jul 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 55 minutes later
Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX Thank you for your query.

this is still nothing to worry about. Swelling is in most cases caused by damage of joint capsule and it should pull back in 3-5 days. also there can be intracapsular hematoma and in this case swelling may persist for 1 week. This is very possible in his case and usually such hematomas extend through the calf. There are some injuries which can't be evaluated by xray such as ligamentar or menisceal damage but If he is able to move his lower leg and foot in all directions, there is no need to worry. If he has some limitations then only mri can be helpful. till orthopaedic exam he just needs to rest, keep his leg elevated, apply cold compresses,and use anti-inflammatory painkillers.
wish you good health. Regards
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