What Is a contusion?
A contusion is a bruise which occurs when you sustain a blow or force causing trauma. Most bruises heal quickly without the need for treatment. Some steps you can take to speed the healing process are medication such as ibuprofen and home care following the RICE method of rest, ice, compress and elevate.
Normally referred to as bruises, contusions are common injuries. You can get one if you slip and fall, get injured from sports, or even from moving furniture.
In most cases, these contusions are minor and heal quickly. Proper contusion treatment and rest are necessary for a full recovery.
A contusion is the same thing as a bruise. Bruising happens when you sustain a blow or force from another source and receive some type of trauma.
Bruising isn’t like most injuries where your skin breaks and starts to bleed. When you bruise, the force that hit you was not powerful enough to break your skin. Instead, it was powerful enough to break the tiny blood vessels beneath your skin and cause them to bleed.
Contusions can range in severity. They can be small and harmless. They can also be larger and lead to serious complications.
You can get a bruise from knocking your knee against a table or by sustaining a heavy blow to the head. A head injury can even bruise a part of your brain. This is called a cerebral contusion.
Anyone can get a bruise, but children, athletes who play sports, and people who are older are more likely to get contusions. Contusions can happen on the:
While all types of contusions will cause at least some discomfort, bone contusions are the most painful. They also take the longest to heal. It’s common for other injuries to happen alongside a bone bruise, such as a ligament sprain.
People who have arthritis can also get bone bruises. That’s because arthritis affects the bone cartilage. If the protective bone cartilage is worn down, your bones can knock together and bruise.
The typical signs and symptoms of a contusion involve:
- Discoloration of the skin: Your skin may darken or turn a black-purple color when you first sustain a contusion. In the following days or weeks that color will change as the bruise heals.
- Affected area is weak and stiff: You may feel pain when pressing on the affected area.
- Swelling on the site: The area where you sustained the bruise could be swollen and painful. You’ll probably have limited range of motion in that area.