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Cincinnati, OH
A 29-year-old female asked:

Acute l knee trauma: direct fall; x-ray:(soft tissue swelling) anterior lower thigh & knee, no other abnormalities noted. s/s numbness, pain (8) burning upon flexion, bruising, edema. need of mri?

4 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Milton Alvis, jr
Preventive Medicine 42 years experience
Low Odds of Benefit: Most trauma ; symptoms are soft tissue, not bone. Neither x-ray or MRI have any direct benefit, though are widely promoted based on theory that a few details they sometimes reveal might turn out to be important, though that is not common ; rarely affect treatment in truly beneficial ways. Better find an experienced physician who focuses on problem solving ; helping you understand body ; function.
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Dr. Donald Colantino
Internal Medicine 62 years experience
Contusion: You had a severe contusion but no fracture. Rest, cold applications for 48 hours followed by warm applications, and if you can take them, nsaids is the treatment. If you note worsening instead of gradual improvement, discuss a MRI with your physician.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. James Burns
Emergency Medicine 38 years experience
No. Unless: You just want a more detailed and expensive description of soft tissue swelling and bone edema. Direct blows to the patella take 4-8 weeks to resolve. Instead or MRI i would suggest patience, cole compresses and otc nsaid's for a while.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Jeff Durgin
Surgery 21 years experience
Knee pain: And mris best to show ligament injuries or meniscus tears. These usually occur with twisting, bending, or side force. If this was a direct blow i would normally recommend waiting a few days as the swelling goes down to see if there is improvement and if not then an MRI would be indicated. Another option is to see an orthopedic doctor to have a specialist examine and give an opinion regarding the need for mri. Depending on insurance this might be the cheaper option.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Sep 17, 2021

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