Q. After a fall, my daughter has got knee injury with difficulty in stretching. Can this be fracture?

Answered by
Dr. Bhanu Tej
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 15, 2020

Hello doctor,

My daughter went ice skating last month and she fell a few times but she was able to stand up and skate again. The next day, saw bruises on her legs especially the knee area but that disappeared after a few days. She mentioned that she still feels some pain but she can walk, move around and jump with it so I thought it is fine. However, recently, I noticed that she cannot stretch it to its maximum. Although she can move around with it, she says there is still a pain when she stretches it too much. What do you think is the problem? It is not broken, right? We cannot have it x-rayed due to lockdown.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

If she is able to walk putting her full weight, she might not have a major fracture. But I want to ask you a few more questions to come to a conclusion.

Is there any swelling around the knee now? Is there any history of massaging it every time she fell? Is she able to straighten out her knee completely now?

Probable causes here can be some joint fluid in her knee which is causing an inability to stretch completely. If she is limping now also, if she is complaining of pain with every step, we should think of any ligament injury. Or else if she does not have any pain on walking, do not worry she does not have any fracture.

Thank you doctor,

She can put weight on the leg if she needs to but she chooses not to because of pain. When she walks, she put more of her weight on the other leg not injured and she has no complain of pain in every step. She can straighten it completely but the opposite side of the knee cannot reach the floor, as compared to the other leg, because of the pain. I cannot remember her massaging it every time she falls. Though the pain is not constant, it appears only if she stretch it too much.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Is there any swelling around the knee?

Thank you doctor,

No swelling around the knee. I compared it to the other knee but looks the same. No bruises as well.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Repeated bruises can damage the muscles around the knee, especially if it is on backside of the knee. If she does not have any fever do not worry. Please follow my advice.

1. Apply local cold ice packs.

2. Gradual stretching of knee muscles. You can check on youtube for hamstring stretching exercises.

3. Please do not massage when she falls or injuries her knee in the future.

4. Please use protective gear around the knee, so that it does not get hurt when she falls while skating.

5. Tablet Ibuprofen 400 mg twice daily after food if she has pain.

You can take this tablet for five days now. Tablet Ibugesic plus 400 mg twice daily after food for five days, Pantop 40 mg (Pantroprozole) once daily on empty stomach for five days.

Thank you doctor,

What do you think is the problem? Is it related to muscles or bone problem? Does the ice pack still work even if it happened a month ago but the pain is still there? For how many days do I need to apply the cold compress? For this kind of injury, how long does the healing takes place?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Repeated bruising could cause muscle injury. More likely it is a muscle injury. Do not worry, give some rest. Apply ice packs if she has pain. Soft tissue injury like muscle, ligaments will take around two to three months if taken proper rest. But if we continue to stress our knees with the same activity it will take longer.

Do stretching exercises. If the injury is old maybe a month or two we should apply heat pack. If the injury is recent, I mean immediately after injury we should apply an ice pack.

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