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First the good news, given that he did not fall or have what sounds like a significant injury, his pain hopefully reflects transient inflammation of the joint. This is supported by the lack of swelling and that it occurred after just stepping off a curb. If just temporary inflammation, it will hopefully get better in the next few days with a combination of rest, ice, ace wrap (or hinged brace if he still has it) and possibly anti-inflammatory medication like over the counter motrin or neurofen. If it is getter worse or just not better, he should see his sports medicine doctor who repaired the ligaments. Often, the meniscus is torn at the original injury and this may be worn or further injured.
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Hello Sir. I just got off the phone with you. Sorry to hear about your pain. From your description about the injury years ago and the recent injury stepping off the curb, and especially since you do not have swelling of the knee, it is likely you have a flare of pain and inflammation from arthritis. There are generally 2 ways to treat that, one is with anti-inflammatory medicine that you would have to take every day for 7-10 days. You should see your family doctor to make sure your kidneys and liver work normally and do not have any unusual risk for stomach bleeding. The other option is a cortisone injection into the knee which is fast and usually does not hurt much at all and the pain often is resolved within a day or two. That is of course assuming my diagnosis over the phone is correct. An exam of the knee would be needed before deciding. So in summary, despite the Corona epidemic, you should get seen and start with an evaluation with your family doctor then get referred to an orthopedic doctor if needed.