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Sports Medicine

Knot below knee cap/swelling in the knee

07/30/2007

Question:

I had surgery about two years ago on a partial tear of my extensor mechanism ligament. I recently hit my knee during a baseball game and instantly got a knot below my knee cap. I have been dealing with it for about a week now and it seems as if more swelling is setting in all around my knee. I have iced it but not properly rested it as I stay active when the swelling starts to go down but when I am finish the knot firms back up and gets bigger. It is slightly warm to the touch even after I have iced it. What does all this mean?

Answer:

The bruising and swelling that you are having can be caused by several different problems.  Soft tissue bleeding (or hematoma) can be caused from a direct blow.  Traumatic bursitis can result from a direct blow as well and cause inflammation of or bleeding into the bursa sac in the front of the knee.  Finally, injury to internal structures of the knee such as ligaments or tendons can cause this swelling.  I recommend that you seek a physician's evaluation if your symptoms persist to determine an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.  I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati