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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 34680
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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I believe I have injured or torn my MCL in my right knee. This

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I believe I have injured or torn my MCL in my right knee. This happened the week after Thanksgiving. I have constant pain in my whole knee, swelling, and shooting stinging pain throughout the day. It is worse at night when I lay down to sleep. It wakes me at night. I have to get up and ice it. I went to an orthopedic . He took X-rays and saw arthritis and said that was the problem. He gave me a cortisone shot but it only lasted two days. I went back to him and he said there was nothing more he could do. Do you think it is more than arthritist and WBA t should I do?

Greetings Kim.

Constant shooting and stinging pain in knee, worsening of pain in night time, swelling, etc indicate that it is more than just arthritis. The injury may have caused following;

1) ligament injury (partial or complete tear); usually these give pain during weight bearing and a classical symptoms is instability of the joint.
2) tendon rupture or sprain
3) muscle rupture or strain
4) bursitis
5) combination of above
6) hematoma formation (blood in tissue which occasionally may get infected).

An MRI is essential for the exact ascertainment of the diagnosis and determination of the extent of the injury. Meanwhile following should help;

1) Rest as much as possible.
2) Knee brace
3) Ibuprofen
4) Other analgesic like hydrocodone.
5) Deep electrotherapy done at physical therapy center.
6) Mild physical therapy like stretching exercises.
7) Mild massage.
8) Acupuncture.
9) Local analgesic cream.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have taken Advil and even Vicodin and that doesn't seem to help enough. I do the rice method and it does help for a short while. It is very hard for me to stand on it and when I walk I feel like me knee is somewhat stable but also that me knee might snap in half. When I am sitting and I just turn my foot the area of the MCL is very painful. Is this going to get better with time or do I need medical attention. I want to seek a second opinion . I even thought about going into the Emergency room at Mass general. What do you think?
Hello Kim,

You need a second opinion. A spontaneous recovery may take a very long time, so a medical attention is necessary. Emergency room and emergency physician may be helpful, but ideal would be to seek a routine appointment with other orthopedic specialist or an MD in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Your symptoms (knee snapping pain during turning foot) do suggest ligament injury with a meniscus tear. An associated soft tissue injury (ligament and muscle fiber strain) also is quite likely. The specialist can provide you a brace, physical therapy program which facilitates the healing and deep electrotherapy which takes away the pain with stronger analgesics and if necessary further shots in knee.

It is privilege assisting you.

Dr. Arun
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