This question was answered on Thu 30, Sep 2010 09:55am by Dr. Srivastava

Fall Injury to my knee. Numbness and severe burning in area just right of the bruising.

    
Asked by riverswebb7 (Female; 36; UNITED STATES; No sickness nor disease. I'm healthy.; Relevant drugs:None ) on Thu 30, Sep 2010 08:48am
Priced at $19.00

On Sunday I fell off of a concrete porch step and face-planted onto the sidewalk. When I stood up there was a significant dent in my right shin just below my knee. It immediately swelled up into a goose-egg. By Monday it was a purple bruise going down my shin and around the left area of my calf. By Tuesday night I started to notice a searing pain would shoot through the area just right of the injury if I stand or walk for more than 5 minutes or so. By Wednesday the area just right of my bruising was completely numb - no feeling whatsoever. Not the whole side of my leg, but a good 4-5 inch square to the immediate right of the bruising on my shin. This morning it's still numb but the searing burn is pretty constant. It doesn't get severe unless I stand or walk for a while. But it's there.... Does this sound like a fracture? Or does it sound like nerve injury...? And if so... will it heal on it's own? What should I do to get the feeling back? The swelling isn't very noticeable now... but I guess it's still there.

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Answer by Dr. Srivastava  on Thu 30, Sep 2010 09:55am:

Hi, Welcome to AMD Site. First, I would like to let you know that knee is quite sensitive structure and more prone for injury after such falls. Usually, in a weight-bearing twisting maneuver or falls & in leg games such as football, most likely the meniscus (knee structure that helps in bearing weight) or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) may be torn. The key symptom after the injury is a locked knee which can not be straightened especially if one has been sitting with bent knees. Besides it can be suddenly locked on twisting and then becomes unlocked with an audible click. Another symptom may be feeling of pain and swelling (Nonspecific soft tissue edema in your MRI) at the knee after it has been overloaded. Therefore, immediate consultation of an orthopedician is required. He or she would like to first clinically examine the condition and order some investigations such as MRI and X-ray to evaluate possibilities of fracture (since it is below knee), dislocation or sprain in the knee therefore pain and numbness could arise. If there is injury to the knee, it is possible that more than one of the knee structures also might be injured at the same time which a doctor can diagnose only after examining you or through MRI & arthroscopy. If it is a meniscal or ligament injury, then it is essential to get them treated because then articular cartilage (other knee structure) would be too heavily loaded and could also be damaged. There is no standard treatment of meniscus or ligament tears. However doctor tries to save as much of the structures as possible, which can be assessed only by the diagnostic procedure arthroscopy. 1. If there is only a minor tear in the meniscus or ligament, it may be enough to smooth it out a little, or even to do nothing at all. 2. If there is a major tear, the torn portion is usually removed arthroscopically. 3. If there is a split in between the meniscus, it is possible to stitch it arthroscopically. 4. If a portion of meniscus is damaged & needs to be removed (by a procedure called partial menisectomy), the patient can walk again as normal. If doctors decide that meniscus to be repaired, they would like to limit weight-bearing for 3 weeks and it will take six weeks before a full range of movement is achieved. In the meantime just avoid excessive movement of the knee, apply ice and keep it elevated. I hope this will resolve your query. Please do keep us posted for your additional doubts. Take Care & Regards.

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Comments:

Comment by Jen Webb on Thu 30, Sep 2010 10:35am:
I guess I'm confused by this answer. Are you saying the numbness is being caused by one of these conditions? Or that you can't say from the information given?

Comment by drsrivastava on Thu 30, Sep 2010 11:12am:
Hi, Thank you for your question. Usually with such knee injuries there is associated nerve injury that causes numbess symptoms. Besides pain and swelling can be accompained with the injury leading to fracture or ligament tear. To know the precise diagnosis here certain investigations like MRI would be required. Hence I would suggest to consult an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible. I hope it helps.

Comment by Dr Anku Sharma on Thu 30, Sep 2010 01:42pm:

Comment by Jen Webb on Thu 30, Sep 2010 09:57pm:
Well I went to the emergency room tonight to see a Dr. They took xrays and decided that nothing is broken. But I've crushed a nerve in my leg. The Dr. actually said that the feeling in my calf probably will not come back and that there isn't anything they can do to even help the healing. I'm really depressed right now. I asked him if he was serious that the feeling would just never come back and he said that in cases with crushed nerves it's to be expected. Awesome. So my leg will be like this for the rest of my life. ...awesome. Anyway.. thanks for your help and guidance. Now I wish I really did just break it. But thank you both anyway. :

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