Q. Last year, I fell off an ATV and broke my femur. I had surgery to put a rod in the bone and the break healed well. I did some physical therapy to get strong again. However, when I tried to get back to sports, my knee felt wobbly and I am afraid to play. Going down stairs, my knee also feels weak. I remember when my femur was broken, they took X-rays of my knee and nothing was wrong. Will I get better if I just wait or should I do something else?
A. When a patient has a serious fracture that requires surgery, sometimes less obvious soft tissue injuries can be missed. It is quite common with femur (thigh bone) fractures to have associated ligament damage to the knee. I recommend you see an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate your knee to make sure this is not the case. The most common injury would be an ACL tear. An MRI scan may also be helpful in establishing a correct diagnosis. Since it has been a long time, and you have done therapy and are still having instability complaints, it is likely that surgery will be necessary to return you to your pre-injury activity level.
Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to HarlanS@baptisthealth.net.