Bruised bones are different from fractured bones. Many people have the misconception that both are the same as the symptoms are quite similar. When the bones are badly hit, the cortex or the outer layer of the bone is ruptured without causing a fracture in the affected bone. This injury leads to damage in the small blood vessels present in this layer of the bone and blood oozes out of them.
How to Identify a Bruised Bone
Even though a bruised bone is not as serious a form of injury as a fractured bone, still its symptoms are equally bothersome. The identifiable symptoms are as follows:
Pain: A sharp localized pain at the injury site is the first sign of damage in the bones. This pain intensifies further when you try to move the injured hand. The area is warm and tender to touch.
Skin Discoloration: Skin discoloration is most commonly associated with any kind of bruising. It is an indication of bleeding under the skin surface. Initially, the skin color of the painful spot is slightly purplish or pinkish red. Later on, as the bruise heals it changes into a blue or greenish shade.
Swelling: Mild to severe swelling could be observed in the area. This kind of inflammation occurs when the blood leaked out from the bone does not get dissipated in the surrounding area properly. However, everyone with a bruised bone in the hand may not get this symptom of swollen hands.
Restricted Motion of the Hands: As the pain and swelling of the bruised spot increases, the range of motion of the hands decreases. You feel a lot of pain when you try to move the hand. If the bruising occurs in the elbow or wrist joint, you cannot bend the particular joint.
How to Heal a Bruised Bone
There is no such treatment that can cure a bruised bone. Your body heals up this kind of injury on its own. If the MRI scan report show signs of bone bruising in hands, your doctor will advise you to take some steps to manage its painful symptoms. They are as follows:
Rest and Elevation: The hands should be rested completely to ensure quick recovery. Any movement of the hands for activities can cause more damage to the already injured blood vessels and worsen the problem further. Rest the hand at an elevated position above the level of the heart by placing a number of pillows under it. This will allow the accumulated fluid to flow out of the area and thus the swelling subsides.
Ice Treatment: Pack up a handful of ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrap it up with a thin towel and place it over the bruised hand for around 15 minutes. This treatment helps to alleviate the symptoms effectively. It has a numbing effect on the excruciating pain, it reduces the swelling in the area and even the skin discoloration becomes less visible if you apply ice regularly.
Medicines: Severe pain due to a bruised bone is controlled with the help of oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Such medicines are available over the counter as well but you should take the medicines under prescription only. The dosage of these medicines is different for every individual patient and it depends on the severity of the injury. Besides, doctors often recommend the use of glucosamine chondroitin supplements along with the pain relieving medicines. These supplements help a lot in healing the wound.
Massage: Once the pain and swelling go down, then massaging the area is proved to be highly beneficial. Rub the tips of your fingers gently over the injury spot to improve blood circulation in the area. As more and more blood flows in this area, the injury will heal faster.
The healing time of a bruised bone in the hand is pretty long that can vary from a few weeks to a few months. During this healing time, you must eat calcium rich foods like low fat dairy products, spinach, broccoli, etc. to improve bone health. Those of you who are smokers should avoid tobacco as it tends to delay the healing process.