The obvious bruised bone symptoms include localized pain, swelling, tenderness and skin discoloration. These bone bruising symptoms can be treated promptly at home by taking rest along with application of hot and cold compress. Read on to learn more.
Bone bruising is a painful condition resulted after direct subjection of the bone to compressive forces or strong physical trauma. It may occur due to bumping against a hard object, vehicle accident or sport injury. Bone bruising is of different types, depending upon which portion of the bone is affected. It may occur in the outer covering of the bone, within the bone marrow (medullary area) or underneath the bone cartilage. Accordingly, bruised bone symptoms are exhibited differently.
Symptoms of Bruised Bone
The tough connective tissues that make up the bone is covered by a membrane of dense fibrous tissues called periosteum. This protective coating contains various blood vessels and nerves. Bone bruise, colloquially referred to as periosteal bruise, is characterized by damage of these rigid fibers or the bone within it. What differentiates a bruised bone from a broken bone is the level of injury. Nevertheless, bone bruising may be as painful as broken bone symptoms. Symptoms of bruised bone include:
- Excruciating pain in the affected portion is a typical symptom of deep bone bruise. The bruising portion may become so painful that afflicted patients have difficulty in carrying out normal activities that involve using the localized area.
- As far as bruised knee bone symptoms are concerned, standing, walking, sitting and any other movement activity may become challenging for the patient. Thus, how far the symptoms affect mobility of a patient depends upon the affected region and severity of bone bruise.
- Another exhibited sign of bruised bone is localized swelling. What happens is, the tissues and muscles that lie adjacent to the bruised bone are also injured, resulting in puffiness and swelling. Puffiness is because of bleeding and accumulation of blood below the skin.
- Bone bruising is often accompanied with soreness, inflammation and stiffness of the area. Upon touching, the area feels tender and quite painful. These bruised bone symptoms are temporary, and will subside gradually as the injured bone starts healing.
- Abnormal change in skin color, or simply skin discoloration, is also observed in the affected body region. The affected region may appear red in the first few days, which later becomes bluish, greenish and yellowish in color.
The symptoms may persist for a few days to even several months, depending upon the treatments received and care level adopted by the patient. Identification of bone bruising is essential to begin prompt treatment process. The first step is to ensure that the condition is only bruising and not bone fracture, which requires a completely different therapeutic intervention. After confirmation, home treatment for bruised bone should begin immediately to ensure fast recovery.
Healing a Bruised Bone
Diagnosis of this orthopedic problem is done based on the bruised bone symptoms. Unlike other bone injury cases, it is not visible in X-ray imaging test. Treatment for bruised ribs or other bruised bone cases involves resting the area, and protecting it from any kind of pressure. Further straining the area causes exacerbation of bone injury, which may result in fracture. The point is to avoid stressing the bruised bone at any cost, and allow quick healing of the affected bone and nearby tissues.
A simple yet practical remedy to heal bruised bone is ice massage therapy. Wrap some ice cubes in a clean towel, and use it for massaging the area. This cold compress treatment is effectual to reduce swelling of the bruised region. And for best results, follow ice massage therapy for 3-4 times daily, until swelling is no longer obvious. Another tip for healing bruised bones is making use of a heating pad (at convenient temperature). This increases blood circulation in the affected part and promotes healing.
Fortunately, bruised bone symptoms improve with home treatment, without causing any major complication. However, if the intensity of pain symptoms remain unchanged after receiving bruised bone treatment, get the condition examined by a qualified orthopedist. The doctor may recommend prescription pain medications for relieving pain symptoms. If required, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test will be conducted to visualize abnormal change in the bone structure. Further treatment will be directed on the basis of test results.