Bone bruise

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A bone bruise or contusion occurs if there is a small injury on the bone surface. The discoloration manifests as blood and other fluids accumulate. Remember that it is possible to damage any bone, but it is likely to affect bones that are near the skin surface.

What are the indications?

The signs that might indicate a bone bruise include:

  • Swollen joint
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness and pain that lasts longer than a normal bruise
    Bone bruise
    For a minor case of bone bruise, the doctor might suggest rest, application of ice and pain medications.
  • Difficulty moving the damaged joint

A bone bruise can last for a few days up to months.

Management of a bone bruise

For a minor case of bone bruise, the doctor might suggest rest, application of ice and pain medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also given.

In case a bone bruise is on the foot or leg, it must be raised to lessen the swelling. Place an ice pack for 15-20 minutes a few times a day.

It is recommended to avoid certain physical activities and sports until fully recuperated. A minor bruise might start to settle in a few weeks. In severe cases, it might take several months to recuperate.

Damage to the joint requires a brace to keep it immobile as it heals. If a splint, brace or crutches are needed, they must be used as instructed.


The individual must rest for some time, but it is vital to allow it to fully heal. Resuming regular activity can worsen the injury.

Even though the recovery time tends to vary, it takes a few months to recuperate. Generally, there are no lasting issues.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a bone bruise is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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