Should I apply ice or heat for a knee that is still swollen?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 11, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I tripped and fell on my right knee. I applied ice packs right away but it has been a week and my leg is still swollen. Should I apply more ice or heat?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

You should call your health care provider and be seen as soon as possible.  They may need to do an Xray to be sure you did not fracture your kneecap, as swelling for this long could be a sign that you have something more serious going on.

And just for your infomation, ice is definitely a better choice when trying to reduce swelling.  Heat can make swelling and pain worse.