Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- your knee is very painful
- you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
- your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
- you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee this can be a sign of infection
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
You can also go to an urgent treatment centre if you need to see someone now.
They’re also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.
You may be seen quicker than you would at A& E.
How Long Do Bruises Last
Bruises usually fade away in about 2 weeks. Over that time, the bruise changes color as the body breaks down and reabsorbs the blood. The color of the bruise can give you an idea how old it is:
- When a bruise first happens, it’s kind of red as the blood appears under the skin.
- Within 12 days, the hemoglobin in the blood changes and the bruise turns bluish-purple or even black.
- After 510 days, the bruise looks green or yellow.
- Then, after 1014 days, it turns yellow-brown or light brown.
Finally, the bruise fades away.
How To Care For A Bruised Knee
Knee bruises occur when small blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin break, allowing blood to leak into the soft tissue. This leads to discoloration, swelling and discomfort. The amount of pain and length of recovery depend on the severity and location of the bruise 13. Periosteal, or bone bruises, take the longest time to heal. Knee bruises that occur just beneath the skin — subcutaneous bruises — have the shortest recovery time. Bruises that occur in the muscles around the knees, called intramuscular bruises, are more painful than subcutaneous bruises.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Avoid painful activities until your knee pain decreases and it is no longer swollen. While some discoloration may linger while your injury is healing, these activities can worsen pain and swelling 2.
Apply a cold compress to your bruised knee to minimize swelling and promote healing 2.** Use the compress for 10 to 15 minutes, every three to four hours. Do not apply ice directly to your skin — this can cause tissue damage.
Prop your foot up on pillows when lying flat to raise your knee above the level of your heart. Elevation will reduce discoloration and swelling by preventing blood from pooling in the tissue around your knee.
Wear a compression garment on your knee to reduce swelling and speed recovery. Leave one finger-width between the garment and your skin to keep from wrapping too tightly.
Read Also: Knee Popping Out Of Place
What Are The Risk Factors For Bone Bruises
Bone bruises are fairly common. Anyone can get one. The bones that youre most likely to bruise are the ones in your knees and heels.
A bone bruise is usually the result of a direct hit to the bone, which can occur during fall, accident, or bump during a sports event. You can also bruise your bone if you twist your ankle or wrist.
You might be more prone to bone bruises if one or more of the following applies to you:
- Youre active in sports, especially high-impact sports.
- You dont wear proper protective equipment.
- Your job is physically demanding.
- You take part in an activity thats physically demanding.
Dont Miss: Flying After Knee Replacement Surgery
A Knee Contusion Or Bruising Of The Knee Is A Mild Sports Injury That Can Occur As A Result Of A Direct Impact To The Knee When A Bruise Or Contusion Occurs The Small Blood Vessels Get Damaged And Blood Leaks Out Under The Skin Causing The Typical Swelling And Bruising Seen In These Injuries While A Knee Contusion Is Uncomfortable And May Temporarily Make It Difficult To Walk Or Use Your Knee Normally Its An Injury That Typically Resolves Quickly
A knee contusion, or bruising of the knee, is a mild sports injury that can occur as a result of a direct impact to the knee. When a bruise or contusion occurs, the small blood vessels get damaged and blood leaks out under the skin causing the typical swelling and bruising seen in these injuries.
While a knee contusion is uncomfortable and may temporarily make it difficult to walk or use your knee normally, its an injury that typically resolves quickly.
Read Also: Burning Pain Side Of Knee
Who Is At Risk Of Bone Bruising
- People who run and jump regularly on hard surfaces
- People who are not conditioned for running or high impact sports/exercise and go from zero to hero very quickly .
Note: Bone stress reactions that lead to bone bruising is due to an excessive amount of load going through that part of the bone that is unaccustomed!
Recommended Reading: What Causes Burning In The Knee
How Long Can A Bruised Knee Take To Heal
Healing time for a bruised knee depends on the injury. Subcutaneous and intramuscular bruises will typically take two to four weeks to fully heal. Periosteal bruises may take one to two months to heal for smaller injuries or several months for larger ones. Using the hurt knee may extend the duration of the injury and, thus, the healing time.
You May Like: Is Knee Pain Related To Heart Problem
What To Put On A Bruised Knee
Before placing anything on the bruised knee, it is best to clean the area with warm soap and water to remove irritants. You can apply ice for 15-20 minutes every hour to reduce swelling and help the area heal faster. A soft or elastic bandage can be wrapped around the area to prevent excessive swelling and further injury.
How To Get Rid Of Bruises
The only way to get rid of bruises is to speed up the healing process to lessen the pain and reduce visibility. Apply ice immediately after the injury. Apply heat to bruises that have already formed to clear up the trapped blood. Compression, elevation, and a bruise-healing diet can also help speed up the healing process.
Read Also: How Long Is Recovery After Partial Knee Replacement
Get Back In The Game With These Treatments
Above all, knee sprains, knee contusions and knee fractures are some of the most common knee injuries in sports. Athletes handle their injuries in different ways, but you can easily get back in the game after your knee injury. NASA Bone & Joint Specialists is a sports medicine clinic in Southeast Houston, Texas that treats athletes of all ages. If you want to return to your sport as soon as possible, contact our sports medicine specialists. Dr. Monmouth and Dr. ONeill are experts in sports medicine for Houston, Texas.
What Is A Bone Bruise
A bone bruise is a traumatic injury to a bone. It’s less severe than a bone fracture.
You might think of a black and blue mark on your skin when you hear the word bruise, but bruises can also happen in muscle and bone. This happens when an injury damages small blood vessels and causes blood and fluid to leak into the nearby tissues and blood vessels.
Bone is made of different kinds of tissue. The periosteum is a thin layer of tissue that covers most of a bone. Where bones come together, there is usually a layer of cartilage at the edges. The bone here is called subchondral bone. Deep inside the bone is an area called the medulla. It contains the bone marrow and fibrous tissue called trabeculae.
With a bone fracture, all the trabeculae in a region of bone have broken. But with a bone bruise, an injury only damages some of these trabeculae. It’s also called a microfracture. An injury might cause blood to build up in the area beneath the periosteum. This causes a subperiosteal hematoma, a type of bone bruise. An injury might also cause bleeding and swelling in the area between your cartilage and the bone beneath it. This causes a subchondral bone bruise. Or bleeding and swelling can happen in the medulla of your bone. This is called an intraosseous bone bruise.
Bone bruises are fairly common. They can happen to people of all ages. Any type of bone in your body can get a bone bruise. Other injuries often happen along with a bone bruise, such as damage to nearby ligaments.
Also Check: How To Strengthen Knee Ligaments
What Causes A Bone Bruise
Injury of any kind can cause a bone bruise. Sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, or falls from a height can cause them. Twisting injuriessuch as those that cause joint sprainscan also cause a bone bruise. Medical conditions such as arthritis may also lead to a bone bruise. This is because where theres arthritis, bone surfaces are not protected and they grind against each other. Child abuse is another cause of multiple bone bruises.
How Is A Bone Bruise Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and check the injured area. Tell your provider what happened when you were injured. Tell him or her when the pain started and how bad it is. Describe any other symptoms, such as stiffness or trouble moving the area.
- X-ray pictures may be used to check for a fracture.
- MRI pictures may show the bone bruise even if an x-ray is normal. Some bone bruises cannot be found for the first 30 hours after the injury. Other injuries may also show up in the pictures. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
Also Check: What Causes Lower Back Pain After Knee Replacement
First See Your Doctor
You should always see a doctor if you have suffered a bone bruise to make sure you havent actually broken a bone. Your doctor will take an X-ray of the injury to make sure no fractures have occurred. This is extremely important, because if you do have a fracture and its not treated properly, several serious complications could occur.
If it is only a bruise, your doctor will very likely recommend you get plenty of rest in order to take pressure off of the injured area and reduce the chances that any complications will occur. He or she will also probably suggest you take an over-the-counter pain reliever. You can also try applying some ice to the area two or three times a day to help with pain. Just remember never to put ice directly on the skin, because that could lead to substantial damage to sensitive tissues. Wrap ice cubes in a cloth or a towel first.
In some cases, a doctor will recommend the use of a brace in order to provide support to the injured tissues as well as minimize pressure. This will help strengthen the injured area, reduce pain, and help hasten healing.
Symptoms Of A Bone Bruise
The symptoms of a bone bruise are similar to those of a regular bruise. Namely, you can expect to experience pain and tenderness in the affected area, swelling in the surrounding tissue, and a change in color. If a bone bruise happens in or near a joint, blood and other fluids can spill into the joint, causing swelling and stiffness. While bone bruises will vary in severity, on average they last longer and hurt more than a normal bruise.
Diagnosing a bone bruise requires consulting your doctor. If a bone injury is suspected, an X-ray is usually called for. While bone bruises dont appear on X-rays, fractures do and the test is important for ruling out more serious damage.
You May Like: Side Of Knee Pain When Bending
Bone Bruise Vs Real Stress And Occult Fracture
In a real bone fracture, both the cortical bone and the medullary bone are completely broken, and the bone parts are separated, which can be seen on an X-ray.
In a stress fracture due to repeated trauma, both the cortical and medullary bone are broken, but the bone parts on the both sides of the fracture do not split. A stress fracture can sometimes be detected by an X-ray, and if not, by an MRI 15.
In an occult bone fracture, both the cortical and medullary bone are broken, but the fracture line is so thin that it is not detected by an X-ray 3. The occult bone fracture that involves the bone and the cartilage and makes communication between a bone bruise and the joint is called osteochondral fracture 6.
In a bone bruise, only the medullary bone is broken, and the cortical bone remains intact. A bone bruise cannot be detected by an X-ray or CT but only by an MRI 3.
What Causes Quadriceps Contusions
A quadriceps contusion happens when someone gets hit very hard in the thigh. The force makes the muscle tear and bleed. It also can tear the sheath that covers the quadriceps muscles.
Most quadriceps contusions happen from playing sports. For example, it can happen:
- when someone gets hit in the thigh with a ball, helmet, or another player during football or lacrosse
- in sports like skateboarding, skiing, and snowboarding, when someone falls and hits their thigh on a tree or other hard object
Also Check: Knee Clicking When Squatting
You May Like: Why Do Knees Need To Be Replaced
What Are The Symptoms Of A Knee Contusion
The most common symptom of a knee contusion is the pain at the moment of an injury. The following day you may also experience bruising, tenderness and swelling in the area of the knee.
You should know that the knee is vulnerable to contusions, so if you fall onto the knee, you will also have a knee contusion. Also, the bruising may occur if your tissue is damaged, for example if you have a sprain of a knee ligament.
The bruising is actually a result of blood vessels damage within the tissue. In this case the blood will leak into surrounding tissues, so you will notice blue and black color under your skin. It is proved that it takes about 24 hours for the bruising to develop. After a couple of days, you will notice that the bruising will fade, so your skin will turn yellow or green.
You may also experience a feeling of tightness in the area of a knee. You should have in mind that not only the tissue may be injured, but also the bone of the knee, which will increase the severity of the injury.
In most cases a knee contusion is not a serious problem. But, when the impact on a knee is too hard, the pain will also be more intense and it will be difficult to move the leg. In this case a medical help will be necessary.
Dont Miss: How To Pop Your Knee
Key Points About Bone Bruise
A bone bruise is a type of traumatic injury. It’s less severe than a bone fracture. It causes blood and fluid to build up in and around your injured bone:
- You may have symptoms such as pain, swelling, and a change in color of the injured area.
- Your healthcare provider will need to rule out other medical problems, such as a bone fracture.
- A bone bruise can be seen only on an MRI scan. But it can be diagnosed and treated without an MRI scan.
- Your healthcare provider may treat your bone bruise with rest, ice, pain medicines, and a brace to prevent the bone from moving.
- In rare cases, a bone bruise may cause a complication called avascular necrosis. This causes part of the bone to die.
Read Also: Where Can I Buy Knee High Socks
What To Do For A Bruised Knee
Just the other day, a reader by the name of Christine wrote to us asking what to do for a bruised knee.
Well, most cases of knee bruising improve with simple homecare measures that aim at controlling the symptoms while promoting blood circulation , and improving the appearance of the affected knee. These can be summarized as follows:
- Pain relief: Pain relief medication such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen icing
- Swelling and tenderness relief: Icing anti-inflammatory drugs e.g. acetaminophen, compression with a bandage
- Promoting healing: Taking lots of rest keeping the knee elevated
- Medical interventions: More serious cases may necessitate ultrasound followed by prescription medication surgery or physiotherapy. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.
Swollen And Bruised Knee
âMy little has a bruised and swollen knee after I bumped into her while running out of the house to meet my mom coming back from work. What do you think is the best way to reduce the swelling and reddish look?â Maggie
Well, Maggie, your best bet is to ice the knee several times daily using an ice pack as described in a previous section of this guide. You should as well advise your sister to avoid lots of movements and other vigorous activities that place pressure on the knee for a few days.
If there is need, you can as well get some OTC pain killers such as acetaminophen from your local drugstore. Just be sure follow the instructions provided carefully and you will be good to go. Finally, try to encourage her to keep the knee in an elevated position, for example, by placing a pillow beneath it while she lies down.
Read Also: Does Exercise Help Knee Pain
Knee Bone Bruise Recovery Goals That Physical Therapy Can Help You Meet
A knee contusion also called a bone bruise on your knee can be severely painful and may even make walking difficult for several weeks. Physical therapy is often recommended for a bone bruise on the knee to help speed up the recovery time. In some cases, a knee bone bruise left untreated could take several months to heal.