Bone Bruise: Symptoms and Treatment

These bruises are ones that happen in soft tissue and muscles. However, bruises can also happen in deep tissues, organs, and bones. One example is ‘bruised ribs,” which is one of the examples of bruised bones.

Bone bruise on a foot

You’ve probably heard of skin bruises so how about a bone bruise? This might seem odd because we’re used to hearing about bones getting fracture or boned. What does it mean when they’re bruised? It turns out it’s the same condition that happens in a different place. When we see skin bruises, they’re happening near the surface of the skin. We’ve all experienced getting bruised when there was a hard impact against the skin, which caused it to become black and blue then fade as time passed. When your bone ‘bruises” the same thing happens but it takes place farther under the skin where the bones are.

In some ways, these bruises are similar to skin bruises like the skin getting discolored. However, it can be even worse and cause results like pain and discomfort in the joints. You can also experience it in different places like the hands and feet. It’s important to know the different factors of this condition. They include what the bruises are and what causes them. you’ll also want to know what symptoms to look for and treatment options you have. This will help you to deal with the bruises better so you can recover from them as soon as possible.

What Are Bone Bruises?

When we think of bruises we usually think about black and blue skin that’s caused by bumping into something or getting punched in a fight, for example. These bruises aren’t deep and happen near the surface of the skin. The discoloration results from blood vessels that leak a little blood.

These bruises are ones that happen in soft tissue and muscles. However, bruises can also happen in deep tissues, organs, and bones. One example is ‘bruised ribs,” which is one of the examples of bruised bones.

What is referred to as bruises of the bones is often known by a name that affects bone marrow. It turns out people with knee/hip pain sometimes have less bone marrow. There’s some crossover because the symptoms can be similar.

Bone bruises can result from different factors including:

  • Bone fluid: When people have muscle issues this can cause fluid to build up in the muscles and make them swollen. Bones can’t swell up since they’re hard. So, what happens is the fluid inside the bones boosts pressure, which results in pain. 
  • Small Fracture: If there’s a small fracture in the bone a little under the joint this can also cause the condition.
  • Blood flow: When blood vessels get wider this causes the blood flow to slow down. That can result in serious inflammation.

Another condition is when blood flow increases after it’s stopped for a while. This can also result in bruised bones.

These are some of the main causes of bruises in the bones. If you experience this condition it will likely be tough to figure out what caused it. That’s why it’s important to contact your doctor if you experience any symptoms that could point to such bruises. It’s best to know exactly what’s causing the symptoms to get treatment.

Symptoms of A Bone Bruise

It’s quite easy to know if you have a skin bruise. You probably realized when your body hit something/someone hard and the bruise started to form. In that case, you can use a hot/cold compress or other treatment to speed up the healing process.

The situation is different with a bruise of the bone. Since we can’t see the bones there’s no visual that we certainly have that condition. That’s why it’s so important to know the symptoms. If you experience one there’s a good chance your bones are bruised. If you have 2+ of them the chances spike.

Here are some of the main symptoms to look for:

  • Joint inflammation
  • Joint stiffness
  • Skin color change
  • Joint pain

Some of these symptoms could be a sign of several different conditions. So, if you experience just one then you shouldn’t assume your bone is bruised. However, you also shouldn’t ignore the symptoms since it’s important to get treated as soon as possible.

You’re more likely to experience these symptoms after an event like a fall, sports injury, car accident, or getting hit by an object or person. If your bone got hit directly then there’s a chance it could get bruised.

Other factors can also cause this condition. They include two bones hitting each other, skin/muscle moving quickly from the bone, and damage to nearby bones.

Another common reason you’re experiencing symptoms of bones getting bruised is arthritis and other medical conditions. In these cases, it’s caused by the bones grinding against other bones.

The bottom line is you don’t have to know what’s causing your bruises. In fact, in many cases, people have no idea that’s what they’re suffering from. What’s most important is to contact your doctor for a checkup and tests. Your doctor can then try to determine your problem.

Treatments for Bone Bruises

As with other conditions, it’s important to get examined/tested to make sure you have the condition. A doctor can help with the process by providing a checkup and ordering different tests.

Diagnoses are important in this case because it might not just be a bruise. In some situations, the bruise is a sign of a more serious issue. That’s why you should contact a doctor if the swelling gets worse. You should also take that step in cases like the pain increases while pain medication hasn’t worked.

A physician will often ask about how the injury happened. He/She might also do a checkup and examine the injured region for bruising, swelling, and pain.

One thing to keep in mind is X-rays don’t show bone bruises. However, the doctor might order an X-ray to determine whether or not a fracture is causing the bruise.

Several treatments can be used to deal with the bruise including:

  1. Rest
  2. Ice
  3. Elevation
  4. Medication to reduce pain and swelling
  5. Using a brace to limit movement

The healing process will take different amounts of time-based on how serious the situation is. Sometimes they’ll heal in about a month. In other cases, they could take up to 2 years for a full recovery. It’s important to follow doctor’s orders to speed up your recovery from a bone bruise.

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