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Fell down from stairs. Pain and swelling in shin. What does it indicate?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10392 Questions
In XXXXXXX I fell on some steps and my shin went underneath the stairs. I was in terrible pain and my shin was throbbing, but I went to bed and figured it would feel better in the morning. In the morning I was limping and my shin was swollen and bruised. I saw a doctor that day, and because I was so tender and flinched to the touch, I was sent to get x-rays. The x-rays, for some reason, were of my ankle, which did not hurt. Anyways they found nothing and advised me to take it easy. It is now October, and I asked a doctor on this website in September a question, but nothing has changed. I have gotten back some more feeling from the nerve damage, but there is now a large lump, which feels like bone at the injury site. It does not usually hurt, although any pressure on it does cause me discomfort.
Posted Sun, 10 Nov 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Likely to be due to fibrosis of hematoma.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
The large hard lump at the site of injury on the shin is likely to be due to a hematoma in the area. Such swellings are usually self limiting and are mildly painful. In case there is no further increase in the size then doing a hot fomentation and taking mild pain killers will help in decreasing the swelling and pain in next 1-2 months.
You can self monitor the area for any redness, pain and sudden increase in the size which are indicators of infection in the area. In such a case a physician consultation is necessary for systemic antibiotics and to assess regarding the surgical drainage.
This fibrosis in the area of injury usually gradually subsides without any treatment over 15-20 weeks. The home remedies you can follow are:
1. Hot fermentation 3-4 times a day. Some specialists advise both hot and cold fomentation alternately.
2. Wrap elastic bandage like crepe bandage at the site of swelling. But don't wrap it too tightly.
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.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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