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Dr. Marvin Brown on Why “Bone Bruise” is a Misnomer

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You may have read in the news that tennis player Victoria Azarenka recently dropped out of the Dubai Championships due to an injury in her right foot, attributed to a bone bruise.  If so, you may be thinking that a bruise doesn’t sound like enough of an injury to make someone drop out of a championship!

TSAOG’s Dr. Marvin Brown tells me why it should.

What is a bone bruise?

The term bone bruise is a misnomer and makes the injury seem less serious than it is.  A so-called bone bruise is actually a fracturing of the inner layer of bone.
Bones are composed of 2 different types of bony tissue, the compact (cortical) bone and the cancellous (spongy) bone.  

  • The compact bone is the outer layer of bone and is highly organized, solid, and extremely strong.  When you injure this layer of the bone, it is referred to as a stress reaction or an occult fracture.
  • The cancellous bone is the innermost layer of bone.  Unlike the outer layer of bone, it is not arranged in concentric layers, but in plates (called trabeculae) which form an irregular meshwork that is neither as organized nor as strong as the outer bone.  An injury to this area of the bone represents very small fractures to the trabeculae in the meshwork of the bone and may be referred to as a bone bruise.

 

How does a bone bruise happen?
This type of injury can be a result of repetitive trauma or stress where the inside of the bone is damaged, resulting in bleeding into the damaged area.  It can also happen as a result of acute trauma, where forces are not strong enough to fracture the outer bone, but are strong enough to fracture the inner layer of bone.

How do you diagnose a bone bruise?
We normally use a combination of patient history, physical examination and MRI to diagnose a fracture to the inner layer of bone.  However, injuries to the inner bone will not be evident on xray or CT scan.

What is the normal treatment for a bone bruise?
I usually recommend bracing or other immobilization of the area to allow it time to heal and to protect it from additional injury that can be caused by bearing weight on the injured area.  Activities also need to be restricted during this healing period, particularly sports play, which can result in additional acute trauma, causing greater injury and/or prolonging the healing time.

How long do you normally expect recovery to take?
Recovery can take several months because the inner layer of bone takes longer to heal than the outer bone.


Dr. Marvin R. Brown is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon who has completed additional fellowship training in conditions of the foot, ankle and lower leg.  He treats patients aged 1 year and up for any musculoskeletal issue below the knee.  His special interests include total ankle replacement and Achilles tendon reconstruction.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Brown, please call 210.281.9595.

 

74 thoughts on “Dr. Marvin Brown on Why “Bone Bruise” is a Misnomer”

  1. Amy Hauser says:

    In 1981 I had all but my heel amputated & recently a bone spur was removed with a grinder, say the doctor. I have been unable to bear any weight without severe pain. I have been told to just give it time but the surgery was June 2nd! What can I do?

    1. Sara Hicks says:

      If you are not satisfied with your physician’s wait and see stance, you may want to consider seeking a second opinion from another foot specialist. Learn more about the orthopedic foot and ankle specialists available at The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group here: http://www.tsaog.com/our-specialties/foot-and-ankle/orthopedic-foot-and-ankle-specialists-san-antonio/

    2. Catie Martin says:

      4 weeks ago I had a tumor in my leg and was removed but it was non cancerous and the pain lasted for 5 months you could have that but I am young so I don’t really know. On Tuesday a table ran over my foot and all over foot I have bone bruises and I am in a boot and crutches and pain medicine and elevation and my pain still isn’t going away and it’s throbbing immediate pain what should I do

  2. Kim says:

    Thank you for the great article! I took a pretty good fall about 4 months ago, with the middle of my shin landing directly on the edge of a stair. I felt my actual shin bend in a way it is not supposed to bend. I thought it was broken, but after a couple of days I could walk with not too much pain. It has now been more than 4 months and it is still extremely tender to touch, and I get random radiating pain up and down my shin. Your article said to avoid additional injury that bearing weight on it can cause. Could I be hendering it from healing? Thank you

    1. Sara Hicks says:

      Given that the injury is still so tender 4 months post-injury, I would recommend seeing a doctor to ensure that you are, in fact, dealing with a bone bruise. Once you have a definitive diagnosis, your physician can recommend the best course of treatment.

      1. Valerie White says:

        On Aug 1st 2015 I had a slip and fall and hit my head and neck and back I am in a lot of pain because of someone else falt how. Long will this pain last and the best treatment for it please??

        1. Sara Hicks says:

          Hi Valerie,

          Sorry to hear that you’re in pain. I would suggest you contact a neck and back specialist for evaluation. That way, they can determine the degree of your injury advise you on the best course of treatment. If you are looking for someone in the San Antonio area, Dr. Adeniran just began his practice at TSAOG and should have new patient appointments available quickly. Here is some information on Dr. Adeniran: http://www.tsaog.com/our-physicians/physician/adewale-o-adeniran/

  3. Sandra says:

    Hi,
    I had Meniscus tear arthroscopic surgery 07/16/15. I was progressing, slowly but progreessing. During week four after surgery, I developed an excruciating thrombin pain when I bore weight on it. It brought me to tears a few times. My Dr. ordered a second MRI and it showed a bruised bone at the outside of the knee.

    The Pa (see Dr later in month) says this would be from an injury. I didn’t injure the knee ( still recovering from surgery-inactive) nor do I think it happened during PT the day prior to onset.
    Could this bone bruising be related to arthroscopic surgery or the OK I have. Could this be due to further degeneration?
    Thank You,
    Sandra

    1. michelle says:

      gee this sounds like I wrote it want was outcome?

  4. Cathy says:

    A piece of gym equipment slammed on top of my right foot–middle of foot, the long bone next to instep. This was 6 days ago. I have been RICE-ing it. I did not get an x-ray, just called the 24 hr nurse line of ins co, and she said it didn’t sound like it was broken. Still hurts too much to wear a shoe or sandal; i can’t go around barefoot much longer! How long should it take Do I need MRI or x-ray?

  5. Cathy says:

    (RICEing but no compression.) (we are full pay/high deductible, it’s too expensive to go to dr. unless I absolutely have to.)

    1. The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group says:

      I certainly understand, but with major pain and swelling 6 days post-injury, I would recommend getting an x-ray to make sure nothing is broken. Wherever you choose to seek care, they can advise you on your best course of treatment as well. As far as your insurance costs are concerned, I would definitely recommend calling ahead for a cost estimate so that you can compare your options. For instance, if you chose to be seen as a self pay patient at our OrthoNow Walk-In Clinic, treatment would usually range between $250 (for a consultation plus x-ray) and $350 (consultation, plus x-ray, plus casting). You can learn more about this service here (http://www.tsaog.com/orthonow/) or call our financial counselors at (210)396-5369 for an estimate of your costs going through your insurance plan.

  6. Theresa Hart says:

    I was unaware of what a bone bruise actually was until I read your article. I was diagnosed with a bone bruise on my foot after an injury. The doctor suggested that the healing time would take 6 to 8 weeks and I am still favoring the foot past that time frame. I believe that I may have another undiagnosed bone bruise on my knee from a fall. Each site has a bump at site of impact and is tender to the touch. Could this mean that I am now more susceptible to bone bruises? And since I was not restricted from activity am I prolonging the healing? I really need to resolve this issue as winter is fast approaching and I have not been able to wear a proper show in over 2 months. I live in NY, Western NY. Thank you.

  7. Dante says:

    Hi Doctor,
    I am a boxer. I was training in March 2015 and injured my wrist and bone scan and MRI showed in was a bone bruise of my ulna wrist bone. Its now been 6 months and I still have sharp pain when touching my wrist. My question is our bone bruises injuries that can heal on there own over time because 6 months is a long time to still be feeling sharp pains.

  8. Donna feathers says:

    I slipped and my left lower legfell into a rock while a was walking on Rocky terrain. This occured Saturday the 5th of September.the pain was minimal to start but today the pain turned to a burning sensation below the bruised area and numbness in the same area. Is this normal or should I be concerned that it is getting worse?

  9. Lucille says:

    I recently had a surgical femoral nailing 6 weeks ago. The trocantor end of the hip where the nailing was done is still so tender that bumping or brushing the area is painful. I would think it’s bone bruising but, given the fact the nail actually hammered into the shaft of my bone, will that mean a longer amount of time for the bruising to heal?

  10. penny says:

    Thanks for this info!
    I was cleaning a heavy grill grate which was balanced on the ground. I lost it and it banged into my inner lower keg – immediate swelling the size of a golf ball & scratched the skin. I put ice on it- the swelling was minimal at the end of the day- no discoloration. A wk. later the area down was warm & pink with pitting edema on that sidedown to the L ankle 6″ below injury. – extremely painful whereas there had been little pain the day after the injury. Thought I might have cellulitis. Scratch was healed. no pain assoc. w. weight bearing. Went to walk-in clinic. Dr thought bone bruise but gave me 1 wk of antibiotcs. A wk. has passed-0 improvement. 0 resolving bruise coloration. Should I follow up? Thanks.

  11. Alexandra says:

    Hello,
    I fell down the stairs about 3 weeks ago. I was in the hospital to get xrays done and they said nothing was broken. There is what looks like a bone where it is not sopposed to be. Leading to the possibility of a dislocation. I went back to get another xray done and they said they had a no report on it. I am still unable to bare weight on it. I have R.I.C.E’d it since i fell. There is also a big bruise there where the bone has seemed to have messed up. What do you think could have happened?

  12. juliet says:

    I was dropped in cheerleading, right on the track; nothing broke the fall. I landed on my right back hip with my arm twisted back on top of it. I have a bone contusion in my spine & hip , possibly a sprained wrist & a hairline fracture to the collar bone or it may just be another contusion, my whole right side hurts like hell & I was three weeks ago!! My coach keeps giving me weird looks each time I dont participate in practice , she says “its just a bruise & its not even visible” well obviously its inside

  13. Charlene Samuels says:

    I hurt my right foot last October and they said it was a deep bruise contusion however my foot around my big toe, ankle and the bottom of my leg is still swelling. I really do not know what too do here because I think the foot was not medically treated and now my foot seem to be set in it compartment now. I am very concern…

  14. Shauna says:

    I started working in a medical office abut 6 weeks ago. It has required me to stand for long periods of time and I most likely did not have the right shoes. My heels feel like they might be bruised now but I am not sure the best method for treatment as I have to be on them, any help is greally appreciated!

  15. francine dupre says:

    i fell on my knee almost a year ago. the dr. did all xray mri bone scan and eventually gave me a diagnosis of it being a bone brusie. till today i have pain in my knee and shin splints and swelling in the knee and all around it . they said they cant help me. what do i do i need to be normal

  16. Sue says:

    I fell three weeks ago full force onto my right hip/buttocks..there was a lot of swelling and disabling pain but no bruise appeared until 5 days later when a huge black and blue appeared. My hip joint is stiff, my right leg aches when I stand for longer periods, and the area is still very painful ..x Rays were negative. Why would bruising take so long to appear?
    I still have a lot of pain in the area and it is uncomfortable to lie down at night..I have been wondering if this could be a bone bruise?

  17. nicole walton says:

    I have been diagnosed through M R I scan with extensive bone bruise, yet i have not sustained any trauma or injury !

  18. Dwaynna says:

    I had a bone spur removed in September 2015. I am still dealing with a lot of pain. Dr referred me to physical therapy. They are having me do stretches even though I have no flexibility issues. The day after pt, I am in so much pain, I can barely walk. I really need some advice. Thank you.

  19. Becky says:

    I month ago I injured my forearm diagnosis bone bruising,pain increased into my elbow and I was treated for tendonitis, recieved injections and elbow brace,how does this affect the healing of the bone bruise’s .the radiologist said probable radial fracture,but it was not addressed by my ortho surgeon. Confused!

  20. larry allen says:

    Had a fall directly on my knee cap on a cruise almost six weeks ago. All my weight ended on my right knee (ended up in the kneeling position on that knee with left leg extended in front) as my left foot slid out in front of me. It was a hard blow and I applied ice immediately. Felt ok after about ten minutes of icing and really did not see any swelling and just a bit of bruising. However it still hurts when touched in a specific spot with just a light touch. It is a sharp pain in that spot almost like a needle prick its very sharp. Otherwise it does not bother me but if I hit that spot sleeping it will awake me instantly.

    I would rather not get xrays and all as I have catastrophic insurance. I have looked up online and it seems it may be a bone bruise of the patella or the bursa is injured or both. I have read both can take months to heal especially on a hard hit as I had. But the sharp pain after almost 6 weeks is beginning to concern me.

  21. Larry says:

    Had a fall directly on my knee cap on a cruise almost six weeks ago. All my weight ended on my right knee (ended up in the kneeling position on that knee with left leg extended in front) as my left foot slid out in front of me. It was a hard blow and I applied ice immediately. Felt ok after about ten minutes of icing and really did not see any swelling and just a bit of bruising. However it still hurts when touched in a specific spot with just a light touch. It is a sharp pain in that spot almost like a needle prick its very sharp. Otherwise it does not bother me but if I hit that spot sleeping it will awake me instantly.

  22. stella eunice says:

    i had a visit with my dr yesterday and he told me i have a bone bruise from a man hitting me on my side of the truck, turning over our 34 foot camper and almost flipping our truck. x-rays did not show anything, but i have a hugh bruise on my leg and my leg hurts so bad. should i see another dr?

  23. Donna says:

    About a month ago I was diagnosed by an MRI with a bruised bone in my knee. The pain is terrible. I went to one doctor who said rest but in an active world you can’t just rest I need to work.
    Now I went to another doctor that is going to give me PT once or twice a week I asked him if that would hurt the bruised bone even more but he said “NO”. Is this correct treatment or is rest better?
    Thank you

  24. susan edwards says:

    I was diagnosed with a bone bruise pr MRI on top of my R foot…..injury was 4 wks ago. It is extremely painful of course bearing my weight & ocass.even at rest. The problem of course is one cannot constantly stay off it….what do you suggest?…I am also a senior in good shape with no osteoporosis, etc…..but….?? Thanking you in advance…Susan

  25. Leana Trulsen says:

    My Xtra large dog took me to a fall directly onto my kneecap on pavement 5 wks ago, got an xray and they said it’s fine. Follow up with my GP and she said my bursa was hurt as well as a bruised bone. I can walk no problem but it’s still lumpy and in certain spots extremely painful even to a light touch. GP said it would take a couple of months but it doesn’t feel like that pain to the touch will take much longer to go away. I wasn’t diligent about icing it and probably should have not done outside chores the day after but still lol..

  26. Nicole says:

    I fell hard cutting my right knee 16 stitches, left lower shin has a hard bruise/ bump, X ray shows no break, foot has black, blue, red ect colours, ice on it all the time. 6 days in and no sign of reducing bump. I’m having to rely on left when I get up and do some movement (bathroom, kitchen ect) because I need to keep my right knee straight for the stitches those come out in 5 days I have Ortho scheduled in 10 days… Should I try to see someone sooner ? I’m thinking it has to be a bone bruise.

  27. Stella says:

    My 14 year old high level (Level 10) gymnast was diagnosed with a bone bruise. We saw a general orthopedic surgeon and two foot and ankle specialist. The first two thought she might need surgery because of the laxity in her ankle due to a previous sprain about a year ago, She had achilles tendonitis six months after the sprain and this bone bruise about three months after. The last doctor said she didn’t and that he thought it will heal itself with total rest for three months. He gave us an option to put a cast right now or finish out the season with a brace and cast after the season, The first doctor we saw told her to wear a boot and crutches. So she was already in a boot and using crutches for about 5 weeks before we saw the last doctor. We were thinking if perhaps being in a boot already for about 5 weeks would make her time in a cast shorter, i’ve called the doctor and he has called me three times, all calls I missed! I hope he will call again. In any event, my daughter has been able to walk without pain for least two weeks. If you press hard on it, it is still painful. She has been doing stretching exercises. She has not tried jumping on it at all. She is in the prime age of college recruiting. There are a few coaches looking at her right now and are expecting her to make nationals. She needs to get back practicing again to even try to catch up and make nationals. First, how can you tell a bone bruise is healed; and second, why would going back to practice and casting later even be an option? Would that not make her bone bruise worse or could cause a fracture? The doctor did say, if it was too painful to stop.

  28. Dynelle Lentzz says:

    I fell off a 15 foot rock cliff injuring my left ankle and foot. Went to Urgent Care an x-ray showed it wasn’t broken, so I left the way I walked in with no help. Its been 2 years since it happened. My ankle still swells if over used and is painful to touch. I’m curious what your medical opinion is? Thank you for assisting me. God bless you.

  29. Maddie says:

    9 days ago I accidentally dropped my phone on my foot. My foot bruised pretty quickly but the bruise hasnt quite gone away yet and it hurt in a between annoying and painful kind of way. It doesnt hurt to touch it though, it only hurts when I walk or bend it. Could this be a bone bruise?

  30. Lindy says:

    Fell off tree pruning ladder, stoopid, was tired, at the tender age of 64 (and close to osteoporosis)–It was about about a 6-8ft drop broken by trying to hang off the tree limb and semi-control the fall–hit hip, elbow, shoulder then head, wow, and ouch! Sat all impacted areas on ice off and on till next day (we live remotely) & used crutches. Went to Dr for hip x-ray and nada broken but super bruised hip and elbow were the worse ones. Pains changing places, rotating around back of hip, now, interesting – probably my back is also tweeked— But I am getting a tad better each day as I go, bruises fadign radiply in rainbow colors. I am still using plenty ice off and on, and just cane, now, except when real bad pain, sue crutches. Hard part is not over doing it, since it’s high spring here. I am doing my daily mellow arthritic stretches, the ones that do not hurt these injuries. Seems like, especially the hip, could take a real long time to fully heal. Thx for any input you may have -LSMc

  31. Chris says:

    I’ve had a “bone bruise” according to MRI bone/joint MD in my left inner knee since 10/2014. It’s still pains me on and off to this day. Somedays I can’t even walk normal. Advice??

  32. Chris says:

    Nevermind. Just saw your (no advice.) I forgot to add 1972 at the end of my Gmail anyway.

  33. Ben says:

    I skateboard and recently suffered what I believe to be a bone bruise on the outer edge of my left heel. I came down off balance from around 5′ to 6′ in the air at a high rate of speed. Estimated speed about 15mp.
    It has been very tender to the touch and I have been favoring my right foot while walking. I work as a phlebotomist in a plasma donation center and am always on my feet. It has been unbearable after several hours of walking. Since this is not my first time with an injury like this I’ve been icing it and staying off it while not working. Any additional steps I could take to speed my recover time that I haven’t already done?

  34. Kim Lemonds says:

    My daughter rolled her ankle while playing volleyball. She jumped and landed wrong. She says it’s sore, the inside ankle is bruised but minimal swelling. Do we need to see a doctor?

  35. Sheila Butcher says:

    Hello Dr. Brown,
    In Oct 25, 2014, I was barefoot in the kitchen when someone wearing socks fell.Their foot hit the mid part of the outside of my left foot. In April 2015, I had x-rays taken. No sign of breaks or fractures. I inquired about a possible stress fracture. No sign of it. The physical therapist felt I had a bruised bone or bruised tendon.
    I am still struggling to heal it. I’ve tried various orthotics and shoe types. I found I can snow shoe for 5 miles easily with no pain and no after effects. But walking half a mile in any type of shoe can make the area sore and swollen. Snow shoeing is no issue likely because it doesn’t put pressure on that effected part of the foot and perhaps because the foot is fairly stable in a snow boot, although my foot could easily move and shift since the boot is oversized. I am wondering if I should wrap the mid part of my foot some how or if there exists some method of a shoe or insole that could mimic something like snowshoeing so my foot is happy. I do ice it when necessary and take ibuprofen as needed. Thank you in advance for any advice.

  36. Kathleen says:

    I had a fall on the sidewalk. I twisted my right ankle and slammed my left knee into the sidewalk. X-rays showed no fractures: diagnosis was sprained ankle and knee contusion. It feels like the knee is definitely the bigger issue but I am not certain how to proceed or who to see. I would appreciate your assistance. The accident occurred on Monday and it is now Friday of the same week. I purchased a knee brace to help and have been using a cane. Would physical therapy be helpful and when would I be able to start the same?

  37. Cody Wilkins says:

    I turned my left ankle bad 3 times 3 months apart it was good for abt a year then injured it again this January skiing. I got X-rays (showed nothing) I just had an MRI today and they said it was a deep bone bruise. This is in the arch/side of ankle area. They suggested rest and ice as much as possible. They said PT wouldn’t really help. I am on my feet 8 hrs a day for my job. Any other tips or suggestions for treatment or something that may help (it’s been 3 months now) Thank you for your time.

  38. Dez says:

    I had a hand injury December 12, 2015 after punching. My doctor did xrays, said there was no break or fracture and that I didn’t need to wear a brace but I continued to wear my brace (the loose velcroe one you get at CVS for wrist pain) for about 3 weeks until the swelling and majority of the pain went away. I had all the symptoms listed above and still today I can feel pain in my hand, especially when someone shakes my hand and squeezes a little. Should I have worn my brace longer? Could I possibly have or cause permanent damage to my hand?

  39. Kellie says:

    Last December I was kicked in the hand during a soccer practice by the fourth metacarpal. It swelled for a few weeks and had a deep pink mark for a month or two. I had it x-rayed and the doctor said it wasn’t broken, but that there is likely a bone bruise, and the bone bruises aren’t troublesome. He left it alone and didn’t prescribe any further treatment. A year and a half later, there is still a mark in the shape of a star that will randomly appear, and every other few days, that part of my hand will hurt. My pinky and fourth finger have even locked and were unable to move for a few minutes before. My hand usually hurts after repetitive tasks like typing. I’ve heard that there are many risks for further problems in the future, and want to know the best way to prevent them. Is it too late now to fix the bone if it healed improperly?

  40. Cheryl Stevens says:

    Two nights ago I missed stepping up onto a walkway and fell onto my right knee and fell onto cement directly on my lower palms. I was so sure I had broken my left hand, thumb or wrist. The pain to my left hand, wrist and thumb hurts really, really bad and is now two days later. X-rays were taken at the ER and I was diagnosed with deep bone contusions to my left hand, knee and leg. The pain hurts ten times worse than when I fell and broke my leg several years ago. Why is the pain level so high? My husband thinks bone bruising is nothing, but I have never been hurt this badly and cannot hold or pick up anything with my left hand. Also, light bruising is on bottom of palms.

  41. Mary Cooley says:

    I suffered a bone bruise on my outside upper thigh from a hard fall–It has been more than a month, the bruising is all gone and there is no pain unless I lie on that side in just such a manner that hits the spot.. I did go to the doctor. My concern is that there are some hard lumps running laterally and the skin is bubbled up above it. Will these ultimately dissolve–I can push on them with little or no discomfort–re they scar tissue?

  42. Diane Buscaglia says:

    I got kicked in the shin over a month ago….and it was diagnosed as a deep bone bruise. It is still sensitive to the touch..and now a dent and a lump have formed on the area right below my knew where I was kicked….I am going to the doc tomorrow for reevaluation…..anything I should ask, or be aware of before I go? It happened at work,(I work with children who have autism) and I am on workers’ comp.

  43. Diane Buscaglia says:

    Sorry….typo…the area right below my KNEE…..spell check took over! 🙂

  44. Sarah Seevinck says:

    I finally have an MRI diagnosis of ‘bone bruise’ on my tail bone following a fall 16 months ago. steroid injections to the surrounding soft tissue have not worked and so now just trying to rest it – that’s tricky of course with sitting and sleeping.

    It feels like it should have started healing after so much time. I have been protecting the area with donuts cushions and avoiding any activities that heavily use that area.

    Any other ideas of how can treat?

    Thanks in advance!!

  45. Fredy says:

    I was recently diagnosed with low platelets then a couple of days later I injured my left knee at work. They did an X-ray and stated they saw white spots which they called it a bruised bone. By reading your article they can’t determine that through X-ray. So what should I do? I’m still in a lot of pain and following direction but it feels the same.

  46. Katherine says:

    A year ago I bruised a bone in my knee playing softball. I am always playing sports and I never let it fully heal. The times I have hurt it is when I slide during softball, I somehow slide on my knee and it immediately swells and get’s painful. In a few days it turns yellow and green and my joints snap when I walk. I keep re injuring it, but I don’t want to miss weeks of sports. I’m scared if I miss weeks of practice and games I will lose my spots on the teams. What should I do?

  47. Cheryl Wistisen says:

    I just recently (3days ago) fell and hurt my shoulder. It is very painful to move in any direction or open doors, sweep, etc, so I went in and they took an x ray at the urgent care clinic. It did not show a fracture but was diagnosed with a bone contusion. I was afraid that it was the ligaments or tendons due to I already have impingement syndrome in both shoulders and have many autoimmune disorders that effect my joints, muscles and nerves. The clinic didn’t give me much info other than it isn’t broke and you have a bone contusion that will take time to heal. My questions are how do they know for sure without an MRI that it is only a bone contusion verses something more serious? When should I seek medical attention if it isn’t getting better? How long should I wear the sling? Also, how long does it take for a shoulder to heal and move normally again? Thank you for the great article as I didn’t even know it could take months for this to heal.

  48. Karen says:

    I fell on my knee in the cafeteria at work in March. Had an X-ray and consult with an orthopedic doctor. He said deep bone bruise. He said I didn’t have to wear a brace and to keep moving. I walk a lot for exercise. I did take it easy for about 3 weeks after injury. It now four months later and the knee swells and is still very painful to bend even though I do Pilates and other stretches the doctor suggested. Any other suggestions?

  49. Kayla says:

    My nephew threw an empty 5 gallon bucket at my shin on July 4th. (It’s now July 26th) The bucket edge connected wth my shin and left a cut along with a long bruise. The bruise and scratch are pretty well gone. However, it is still very tender to the touch. It’s it okay to continue running even with it tender? It only hurts when is touched and I’m an avid runner.

  50. Mike says:

    Hi.

    I injured my hand 14 weeks ago when I jammed it into a guys hip playing football. After several X-rays and an MRI it was determined I have minimal capsulitis and a marrow edema. The doc showed me how dark the bones were on the MRI.

    Since its in my hand, I can’t bend the ring or pinkie fingers at all. It’s been 14 weeks and was wondering if that is normal to not be able to bend them for that long and do you have any suggestions to expedite the healing so I can bend my fingers again? I was given prednisone, will that help at all?

    Thanks

  51. Octavio Hingle-Webster says:

    Hello, thanks so much for the information! I went to the emergency room after kicking up my foot and hitting my 4th metatarsal on a door knob two days ago (long story). There were no fractures on my x-ray and I was told I had a contusion and to rest for a week or two, which seems likely. However, to prepare for the best and the worst i’m reading up on bone bruises. How likely is to to receive a bone bruise instead of a tissue contusion from hitting a metatarsal from upward force? I can walk around some and the swelling has decreased some from the day of the injury– but still red and painful. Thanks for the advice!

  52. Jennifer says:

    About 6 months ago my daughter, who is a gymnast, hurt her ankle. She was treated for a sprain and sent to PT. 5 months later she still could not bare weight on the ankle. We went to an orthopedist and she was diagnosed with a bone bruise above and below her growth plate in her ankle. She was told no activity for a month, which we followed. Last week she was cleared to resume all activity. Yesterday was her fist day back at the gym. She ran a couple laps around the exercise floor and it started hurting again. Today it hurts a little when she walks or jumps, but not when she stands. Does this sound normal or do you think it wasn’t fully healed yet and she’s injuring it again?

  53. Rosalie Meuleman says:

    Bruise bone dx to a girl age 15, left ilium hit the edge of a pool when she did a back flip, almost 10 years later the area is still tender to deep touch, is this a common occurance? I recommended a CT or US to see the underling cause.

  54. bobbie says:

    I fell straight down on my right knee bracing with my hands on cement I had help getting up but could walk .no broken bones and no fracture had a xray. but my knee is still so painful to the touch and it is hard to put weight on it can’t even think of kneeing down can’t put the weight on it. this is 6or 7 weeks ago

  55. Jenny Hixon says:

    I have minimal edema (bone bruise) in my superior patella, after having an MRI.Nothing traumatic happened, i just changed up my workout routine and started doing P90X. Iv always worked out 5+days a week. 6 months ago my pain in my knee started and it hasnt stopped, it was mis-diagnosed to patella femoral pain but after 6 weeks of PT and no change the MRI was suggested. I have stayed away from all cardio and anything that causes pain to my knee but there has been no change. All articles say “several months” to heal, being extremely active the last 6 months have been difficult and it be great to have a time frame of recovery. Any ideas of when it may heal? It was only minimal edema.

  56. Lisa Fahle says:

    I was diagnosed with bone bruises (femur & tibia surfaces) in my knee joint about 12 years ago after a snowboarding incident. My question is – are there long term effects of bone bruises in the knee? Does it weaken the joint over the long term, or can it make the joint more susceptible to things like arthritis?

  57. Heather says:

    Hi.
    So a week and two days ago I was playing a game of soccer against my cousin’s team. We had cleats on but not everyone including myself had shin guards. I ran up to one girl who had the ball and went to kick it from her and she went to kick the ball and kicked me directly in my shin full force. Then when I stepped back I rolled my ankle on a flexed foot. It took a few minutes before I could put pressure on my leg and walk around but I ingnored it and continued playing. The place which is a couple inches above my ankle became red, started to bruise and swelled in that one spot. The spot is extremely tender and the bruise finally changed colors but is still there and a spot is still black and blue. My ankle is fine after the week and the sore muscles are good too. The only problem I have now is the spot has developed an extremely tender bump, you can feel it and it is noticeable from the side it’s not big though. And some pain is starting to go down my tibia towards my ankle and my 5th metatarsal has sharp pain when I stand or walk a lot. There will even be pain in those spots when I’m not walking as well. I stay in a dorm on campus and staying off my feet is not an option and I don’t want to use my crutches to much trouble going around campus to class. By the symptoms it looks like I have a bruised tibia but I don’t know about my 5th metatarsal. I did have a possible fracture and a bone bruise in the same spot about 6 months ago on my 5th metatarsal where Jones fractures happen. I have a walking boot. Do you think that would be a safe route is to wear the boot a week or so to see if that helps to rest my foot and leg? I don’t really want to have to pay for a doctors visit? This college kid has no money.

  58. Carrie Even says:

    Question for you. I was diagnosed with a bone bruise on my left tarsal. I was missed diagnosed for 2 months until a 3rd Dr. looked at my MRI and noticed the deep bone bruise. He had me non-weight bearing for 4 months to help it heal and a year later since the injury and 7 months after walking again… I notice that when I stand on artificial turf on a soccer field I can hardly put weight on my ankle for a couple of days. Was wondering why?

  59. tasmin says:

    hello
    i have a bone bruise on medial tibial tuberosity .i had an MRI it said i still have mild joint effusion with no ligament injury. its been 2 weeks and i have an exam in two days that includes jumping . what can i do in this situation?

  60. Aliya says:

    So I was being dumb and I didn’t have the key to my house so I climbed through the window but I slipped and fell forward on my hands and knees. I wake up today and it is incredibly hard to walk up and down my stairs, is it possible I have a bone bruise?

  61. Christina says:

    Ok i do wrestling. About A week ago i had a 240 man land knee first on my shin area it swelled and bruised anh swelling has gone for the most part but the bruising Has spread around my leg into my ankle and is still very painful should i be worried and get it looked at

  62. Miranda says:

    I have been in a boot for two weeks now for a bone bruise on my foot. I am supposed to take the boot off this Friday; however, my foot is still swelling and there is also a knot on the pad of my foot. Is it possible that I may have something more serious wrong with my foot?

  63. Sharen says:

    2 months ago I was diagnosed with a bone bruise and stretched acl by my orthopedic, he said rest and recover but I really feel as if I need a brace how should I go about healing (its still swollen and painful)

  64. Glenn says:

    Was wondering how Novak has a bone bruise in his elbow. Is that possible from playing tennis? How is that different from golfers and tennis elbow?

  65. Dingbat says:

    Three weeks ago I dropped box springs on my legs & got my legs stuck between the box springs and my iron bed frame. I was alone & finally had to fall & then just pull my legs out. I bruised pretty bad. I’m still black & blue from the damage and both legs still hurt, but especially my right leg (it took more impact). It especially bothers me when I walk, but burns when I lay down. How long should it take for it to heal?

  66. Barb says:

    I fell hard on my left thigh five years ago… the bruise from knee to hip… got extremely bruised… no obvious break; doc said bone bruise..” take it easy.” Five years later, the nerves are still tender when pressed, though not really painful, I still always know “it is there!” Have you ever heard of anyone with a bone bruise pain that continued for five years or more??? (as it doesn’t seem any lessen)

  67. Barbara Gale says:

    I had a ball fall on my knee 9 days ago it was xrayed and they said it wasn’t broken it is still really bruised and the bruise has travelled down my leg. The feeling has recently came back in the knee and it is extremely tender and painful to touch shoul I go back to the doctor?


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