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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes knee and leg swelling after suffering a displaced fracture?

Answered by
Dr. Ahmed Aly Hassan

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 441 Questions

Posted on Wed, 26 Apr 2017 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I am in an adjustable knee brace immobilizer and also have bruised ribs so it is hard to remain totally non weight bearing. The ortho doc has me coming back weekly for xrays. I fell one week ago today tripping up a curb. ( genius I know) I fell hard on my left side and then received the diagnosis of bruised ribs and displaced fracture of the medial tibial plateau and non displaced fracture of the the fibular head.

The knee and leg are still swollen even when elevated, although more when it is down.

Is it ok to take off the brace and give the leg a rest as long as I dont put weight on it?

DO you think surgery is inevitable or is there a chance that it will heal without surgery?

Im not sure if there is any ligament damage because they did not do an MRI because he said he would not fix it now anyway due to the fracture.

Does this sound right?

I m really concerned because I live alone and do not have much help and find it almost impossible to be totally non weight bearing.

Any suggestions.??
Answered by Dr. Ahmed Aly Hassan 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
I am sorry but i agree with your doctor , your type of fracture needs fixation to prevent any complications or permanent disabilities .

Detailed Answer:
Hi i am Dr Ahmed Aly
thanks for using HealthcareMagic site ,
I had gone through your question and understand your concerns ..

I am so sorry for your injury , i hope you feel better soon , in my opinion you have to tell your relatives as your kind of fracture will certainly need surgical fixation . your knee joint is injured at its boundaries so it can not withstand your weight and if you tried it may even worsen the fracture .
It is ok to take off your braces for a while if you need and take care because any manipulation could hurts your knee , so you could removed just for a while then put it back to maintain your knee trackted ( as if it is pulled away ) .
I think that healing will occur sooner or later but in such fractures with joint displacement the healing process without proper initial reduction and secondary plate fixation may cause permanent disability ( sorry but without surgery it is very rare to heal correctly )
Do not worry i think your orthopedic surgeon is fine because now we have to fix bones and joints then ligament repair and physiotherapy will be later . MRI scans will certainly show which ligaments are injured but that will be repaired during the surgery or even after according to your age , weight , degree of fracture .
In my point of view you need to follow your doctor and ask your relative or close one to come and stays for helping you , maintain immobilization , use topical gels , rest , wear knee support , elevate your leg and take your NSAIDs or anti-inflammatory medications and be patient and i am sure everything will go well .

Please click and consider a 5 star rating with some positive feedback if you find information was helpful. Wish you good health,
Any further clarifications feel free to ask.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng

The User accepted the expert's answer

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