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Knee injury after fall- serious enough to go to orthopedic?
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Knee injury after fall- serious enough to go to orthopedic?

5 days ago, I fell on my knees onto a cobblestone road in my neighborhood. Both knees hit the brick directly- the right one made contact to the stone directly below my knee while the left one hit directly on the kneecap. I jumped up out of embarrassment and "walked it off." We walked to a local restaurant where I sat and had a few drinks. My left knee was noticably sore but not unbareable (I'm sure alcohol helped with this) so I went home and went to bed not thinking much of it.

When I woke up the next morning, my knee was swollen and THROBBING! I had a flight to catch but was moving slow because I couldn't walk without a limp. When my knee was fully extended straight, it hurt but I could put some pressure on it as long as I walked and kept the knee straight. When I went to get into my car, I realized that I may have really hurt myself. The pain was intense! It took me a really long time to bend my knee slightly in order to get it in the car. Every bump on the road made me wince. It was worse when I got onto the plane. When i slowly sat trying to keep my leg straight my eyes welled up bc the pain was so intense. I didn't know how I was going to get up to deboard.

Eventually I did and went to a small emergency care clinic where they x-rayed my knee with negative results. I was given Vicodin and crutches (which I didn't really use) and was told to see my local orthopedic when I return home. He said that because of the pain, he couldn't give me a proper examination so he didnt want make assumptions but that it sounds like it could be ligament damage or "best case- severely bruised cartilage."

Since then, my knee has progressively gotten better each day. The range of motion is a lot better, the pain has significantly decreased when I bend my knee, the swelling looks like it has gone away and I can apply full pressure on it when I'm standing. The symptoms that remain are substantial pain when keeping my leg either bent or straight for a long period of time, difficulty sitting or standing without arm rests to lean on, issues going down steps and stiffness. The pain is mostly centralized on the right side of my knee cap and at the bottom left side of the kneecap although not as intense. I feel like I would be able to walk normally if it wasn't as stiff. It feels a little unstable and when I walk I feel like its not smooth. Almost like I'm walking like a wind up toy if that makes sense but my limp isn't really contributed to the pain anymore.

Anyway, I'm broke. I spent $140 in charges from the emergency care that gave me no real progress. It has improved so much in 5 days, does this sound like it is just a bruised cartilage? If so, I'd rather just wait to heal instead of spending money I don't have for the doctor to tell me to RICE it. After the symptoms and situation I shared, what would be your suggestion??

Thank you for your help!
Annie
Avatar_n_tn
What did you do?  What happened?  I felt onto concrete on October 18. It's Nov 2 now.  My pattern is different, started out with nothing much except a giant ache, no pain on movement.  Pains on movements have been developing slowly since the second or third day after the fall.  I've looked online, as I'm sure you have.  The advice is to go to an orthopedist if you've had an injury and you experience pain which is getting worse.  In you posting, your pain was getting better.  What's the deal now?  Mine's getting worse, my pains, so I guess I'll go in, to an orthopedist's office.
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