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Help Needed: Minor knee injury/lack of pain?

#1
Hi folks -

I had a twisty fall yesterday. My knee twisted, but I was able to get up and ski the run. Ice and Advil, home to my new lover, Epsom salts.

Very stiff last night, but today I can walk normally. Seems like there's a minor hamstring pull and something that was tweaked inside - not a place I can locate. I feel minor tweaky weakness when I move sideways or turn in some way. (All these functions your knee does without ever being noticed!)

Granted, I had Advil on board, but I wouldn't describe this as pain. I'm 63, brand new skier, not in very good shape (especially these muscles that are only used for skiing!). Lots of muscles always ache after I ski.

Should I go see the doctor to be safe? Does a real injury ever present without significant pain?

Thanks; I imagine that there should be real pain if it's a real injury, but I don't want to ignore potential problems.

For those who also read Epic, please forgive the cross-posting.
 
#2
In the interest of accuracy, I do have minor pain with certain movements.
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
Ermm. Not to be an alarmist, but I have heard that ligament tears (ACL, MCL, etc) can happen without much pain. But I think they always swell a lot. The tweaky weakness with certain motions makes me nervous. Obviously I'm primed to think of these ligaments, anyway, given how my year has been. But if you have the insurance for it, it can't hurt to see an ortho so that they can do the little "pull" tests to check your ligaments. You shouldn't need an MRI for them to be able to tell, so it shouldn't be a big production.

(My ACL tear was incredibly painful as well as swollen, but apparently that's because the violence of the spinning fall caused extensive bone bruising.)
 
#4
Ermm. Not to be an alarmist, but I have heard that ligament tears (ACL, MCL, etc) can happen without much pain. But I think they always swell a lot. The tweaky weakness with certain motions makes me nervous. Obviously I'm primed to think of these ligaments, anyway, given how my year has been. But if you have the insurance for it, it can't hurt to see an ortho so that they can do the little "pull" tests to check your ligaments. You shouldn't need an MRI for them to be able to tell, so it shouldn't be a big production.

(My ACL tear was incredibly painful as well as swollen, but apparently that's because the violence of the spinning fall caused extensive bone bruising.)
Ouch ouch ouch! I hate to think of these injuries.

I will go. It's stupid not to.

Thanks!
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
It's also possible that your knee will just be uncomfortable for a few days after the fall, then feel fine. I've certainly had that happen. It's the weakness that makes me think you should check with a doctor, just to be sure.
 

skibetty

Certified Ski Diva
#9
Yes, better to have it checked! Not to alarm you but worth mentioning, a torn meniscus can be painful but then it will 'flip' back to where it's supposed to be and feel fine again. Happened to my husband and he was told that he probably just pulled his hamstring. Turns out that he did tear the meniscus which required surgery to fix. So have it checked and then pay attention to it!
 
#10
Any chance of arthritis in your knee? That's what causes me pain and usually after skiing is done, even the next day.
Yes, I have some arthritis in my knees. They do hurt after skiing. But this was a specific sensation I could feel during the fall. Or a minute after. It's not an ache, just twinges with certain movements. Getting ready to go to the clinic . . .
 
#11
Yes, better to have it checked! Not to alarm you but worth mentioning, a torn meniscus can be painful but then it will 'flip' back to where it's supposed to be and feel fine again. Happened to my husband and he was told that he probably just pulled his hamstring. Turns out that he did tear the meniscus which required surgery to fix. So have it checked and then pay attention to it!
Yikes! I didn't have any severe pain, though. Anyway, it was hard to "like" that post! :fear:
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#13
For what it's worth, when I popped off an ACL (not skiing) there was little collateral damage and relatively little swelling and significant pain after a week or so. The knee was stable and I was weight bearing right after injury. What hurt for a few weeks was the MCL sprain.

Note that a family doctor may not be able to diagnose nearly as effectively as an orthopedic specialist. My Family Practice doc couldn't tell anything. Did an X-ray that didn't show any bone issues. The ortho PA who worked with the surgeon I was referred to was much more gentle, compared the injured knee to the other one, and was pretty sure the ACL was gone before the MRI even though the slippage was tiny.

On the flip side, a friend (beginner) who tweaked a knee at Alta (fresh snow even on groomers) a couple years ago was told at the medical clinic that the ACL was the problem. Didn't turn out to be the case.
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
My understanding is that the ortho test where they pull your lower leg forward is definitive for the ACL. In my case, though, my knee was too swollen to perform the test.
 
#15
I really doubted there was much wrong, but went to the clinic anyway. I work there once a week, so it's a very painless process. My doc had also tweaked his knee, and we compared symptoms, performance on stairs, and x-rays. His is worse than mine.

X-ray was negative, as was most of the physical exam. He said it's a mild sprain, and no skiing for 10 days. Rest, ice, compression, and Aleve. I'll keep an eye on it (I'm a bit of a worry wart with my 63-year-old body) and check with my PT. Supposedly I go there for my shoulder, but I consult about every other little ache and pain.

Thanks for the support and ideas!

Anne
 
#16
My understanding is that the ortho test where they pull your lower leg forward is definitive for the ACL. In my case, though, my knee was too swollen to perform the test.
That's a relief, too (for me!). The only test that bothered me at all was pushing my foot down (with bended knee). None of the others hurt a bit. Hamstrings are sore, but they are clearly just pulled a bit.
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
glad it's just a sprain. pooh on no skiing for 10days. I use Arnica (homeopathic) for deep tissue bruising it helps me w/my old knees, sprains. works wonders for me, maybe will help you? hope you heal up quickly
 
#18
glad it's just a sprain. pooh on no skiing for 10days. I use Arnica (homeopathic) for deep tissue bruising it helps me w/my old knees, sprains. works wonders for me, maybe will help you? hope you heal up quickly
Thanks, nopole! I have a gel that has arnica as well as the hot/cold stuff (eucalyptus? I can't remember. Very fragrant). It usually helps!
 

Powgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
newboots...I used to tweak my knee alot in my early days of skiing. One time, I was skiing fine, no fall...clicked out of my skis and immediately felt pain and weakness...which lasted a few days with some swelling...I had trouble walking...what the heck???

I learned in short order to make sure I am good and stretched out before I hit the slopes...my SO and I do a quick 15 minute yoga/stretching routine before we go...I think its super important at our age...this year I started doing squats, regular and hell squats, daily. All this has helped with the knee and falling issues.

Of course, never push the stretching and squats too far...go gentle, especially with a recovering injury.
 
#20
. . .

I learned in short order to make sure I am good and stretched out before I hit the slopes...my SO and I do a quick 15 minute yoga/stretching routine before we go...I think its super important at our age...this year I started doing squats, regular and hell squats, daily. All this has helped with the knee and falling issues.

Of course, never push the stretching and squats too far...go gentle, especially with a recovering injury.
Good advice! I want to do that.

Dumb question department: Where do you stretch? My friend told me to do a little stretching after getting off the lift because after skiing, then sitting still in the cold on the lift, causes you to tighten up. But before skiing? (My choices are the parking lot or the lodge, I think.)
 

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