December 29, 2023
DEC 29, patients and their maladies: knee effusion
Authors' Note: This verse resulted from the author’s personal experience (as patient).
Following trauma, standard X-rays taken in the Emergency Department show most fractures where the bone fragments are displaced. They can not, however, diagnose many undisplaced fractures, particularly in elderly patients with reduced bone density.
Nonspecific swelling with evidence of leaking of fluid into the adjacent joint space (joint effusion) is particularly common in injuries about the knee, and is easily discerned on visual inspection and X-rays. Follow up radiographs after another 3 weeks sometimes display an initially missed healing fracture. In cases where instability, ongoing pain, or persistent effusion are prominent, injury to ligaments may be suspected.
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