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Twisted my leg while exercising. Had physio treatment for chondromalacia. Any suggestions ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I am 29years old and quite overweight (5ft 6in tall, 15 stone).

5 days ago I was taking part in an exercise class. I jumped in the air and when I landed i must have twisted my leg a little and I felt a sort-of pop in my left knee. Stupidly I carried on (due to the embarrasement of quitting) and it happened a further two or three times until I eventually stopped due to the pain. As a teenager I was diagnosed with chondromalacia patellae and had physio which seemed to fix the problem. I am not sure if it is that again? Or someone has suggestedc something to do with my meniscus?

It has been 5 days and the pain seems to be worsening. There is no visual swelling to my knee but it feels stiff and hurts to even remotely twist my leg. It hurts to walk, although I have it strapped and am taking ibuprofen and paracetomol regularly, and icing it in the evenings when I get home from work. Unfortunaly, the nature of my job means I cannot sit and rest it all day (I am a teacher).

The main source of pain seems to be at the front of my knee, more on the inside than the outside, although it constantly aches right through and is stiff up the back when it moves. Perhaps obviously, it is more painful in the morning after it has been left unmoving through the night, or after prolonged periods of sitting. Stairs are a nightmare also!!!

I hope you can offer some advice. I am not sure if a doctor will just tell me to keep up with what I am currently doing or if I may have done something more serious and need further treatment.

Thank you

Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 6 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
After a sudden twisting of leg and pop of knee, appearance of pain with tenderness, etc are all indicative of hematoma formation either due to a fracture.
For diagnosis it is important to get an x-ray foot and a MRI scan of the area done. X-rays are very sensitive for picking up any fracture and MRI is one of the best tests for ruling out and identifying soft tissue injuries in the area of fall.
I recommend you to consult an Orthopedician for proper examination and required investigations.
In the meanwhile, for symptomatic relief:
1. Give enough rest to your knee- use a knee brace.
2. Take mild pain killers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
3. Stronger prescription NSAIDS 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.

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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