Do I need an MRI for factured patella and possible MCL damage?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I had a motorcycle accident 4 weeks ago and I was diagnosed with a sprained knee and given a plaster splint on the back of the leg.

After a check up three weeks later, they spotted a fractured patella (lateral fracture) that they missed the first time and put me in a leg cast. The inner left side of my knee still hurts which indicates possible damaged MCL ligament.

Should I have MRI now or after my patella heals? I feel like my treatment has been wrong from the beginning as they didn't even spot my fractured patella and treated me only with a flimsy splint. I was waiting for insurance to approve an MRI, but I'd pay cash now to have it done tomorrow if I thought it was necessary.

So, should I take the cast off now and get an MRI or wait until patella heals then get MRI? Would hate to have to get surgery for MCL after all the time waiting for patella to heal... Wish they could both be treated at the same time.

1 like, 10 replies

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Insurance companies are funny and reluctant when it comes to accidents. Was it your fault?
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    • Posted

      Yes, it was completely my fault and no other vehicles were involved.

      What I'm concerned with most now is what is the proper care? Is MRI necessary and the sooner the better? If so, I'll pay out of my own pocket rather than prolong my time in a cast and crutches.

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  • Posted

    If the pain at your inner knee really indicates damage to the MCL Ligament and if this requires surgery to fix, then I would think it should be done ASAP. I had knee replacement two years ago and my patella was fractured vertically during surgery while they were trying to bend the knee after the prosthetic was implanted. I have a screw horizontal through my knee cap now. I had to wait 6 weeks for it to heal before I could do any serious physical therapy to regain range of motion. My knee is good now but I never regained as much ROM as the other knee which was replaced 3 months before. The body grows scar tissue around surgery sites and injuries which is why you do physical therapy ASAP after surgery. I don't know if this applies to Ligament damage but you shouldn't have to wait if you need surgery. The only way to determine what the problem really is will probably be an MRI. Hopefully Insurance co. and your doctor will agree.

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    • Posted

      The pain in the ligament isn't excruciating, just nagging and it comes and goes, they wouldn't do surgery unless. It were torn, right? If it's just damaged and not torn, it will heal anyway.

      That is my dilemma, have the cast taken off to pay for an mri, or just wait and see.

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    • Posted

      I don't feel any pain at all with the patella fracture (it's a stable verticle fracture). I didn't even know it was fractured until 2 weekd after the accident when the doctor spotted it from the x-ray (the other doctor didn't see the fracture).

      But I have had intermittent pain in the inside of my knee in the area of the MCL ligament.  I still have pain after a month, but I don't know if this is normal for a strain.  The doctor evaluated my knee by pulling at checking for stability and he said it didn't indicate any tear, but there is this persistent pain still.

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  • Posted

    Mri's & Xrays should have been done from the beginning number one..I had both done & yet they say that mine is could be a strain/sprain or tracking is off.I am doing therapy but yet I feel I am going to get a second opinion being my inner side of knee hurts.at times bad & I can't walk up stairs with it.I think you need also

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  • Posted

    I would ask for the mri immediately. I don't see any reason to wait as healing starts immediately right or wrong. You don't want stuff growing back the wrong way then have to be corrected. I'm assuming you are in the UK as the mri would more than likely been done at once in the US.

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    • Posted

      I'm not in UK or US. Working as an expat in Asia. Have a lame insurance policy through my employer. It's good for doctor's visits or emergencies, but a knee injury, their answer is just an xray and a splint (had to pay cash for a proper cast).

      I guess the best answer is to go to the hospital, have them take off the cast, and pay for an MRI, than put the cast back if the ligament damage doesn't warrant surgery.

      I'm actually hoping that they find nothing. The money spent on an MRI is worth the piece of mind. If there is serious damage to the ligament, then that's another problem, but at least I'll have evidence to request a surgery.

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    • Posted

      I understand what yo are saying. My son was a Corp exec and spent 5.5 years in So. Korea. He did have pretty good insurance but everything was out of pocket then reimbursed. The problem with knee injuries, you have so many areas of involvement......bone, ligament, soft tissue of various density and it takes an mri to get a full analysis of damage. Of course an x ray only gets bone damage. Strains, sprains and minor soft tissue damage can often be treated with physical therapy and exercise. Major tears and damage more often require surgery, braces and then the therapy.........bone injury, anywhere from immobilization to surgery and various forms of braces and splints, etc.

      They key.....quick and proper diagnosis.

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