A bone bruise typically occurs during a traumatic impact against bone whether caused by the banging of the elbow or knee against a hard surface or by a fall. It is important to note that the impact will cause compression while the exterior layer of the affected bone can break down. This will lead to the leak of blood or fluid that manifests on the skin as a bruise. When treating a bone bruise, the treatment typically involves the application of ice, rest and providing pain relief.
This type of injury can likely occur during vehicular accidents as well as sporting activities in which injuries typically occur. On the other hand, it can also occur at home, especially during falls.
Application of ice
If an individual sustains a bone bruise either from a fall or bumped on a hard surface, the initial first aid care is to apply ice directly over the bruised area to help slow down and eventually reverse the discoloration and pain from bruising. Just make sure that the ice bag is wrapped in a clean towel or cloth before applying. An alternative is a pack of frozen vegetables that you can apply over the bruised area. Do not apply ice directly on bare skin since this will only cause more damage.
After 24 hours, you have to alternate an ice pack with a heating pad. The swelling should diminish quickly than the muscle bruises which are distinguished by more swelling since there is more leakage of blood, thus resulting to puffiness beneath the skin. As for the pain, it usually subsides after a few days or weeks depending on the severity of the bone bruise while the discoloration can last for months.
Always remember that rest is vital in the treatment of bone bruise in order to save the affected area from further injury and inflammation. Since the affected tissue in the bone bruise is vulnerable, any physical activity involving the surrounding muscles can lead to fractures and breaks in the bone. It is best to rest the affected area for a week or more depending on the severity of the injury. It is recommended to consult a doctor in order to determine if the bone bruise is a break or a fracture since both would require more than just rest.
If you are going to provide over-the-counter medications for pain relief, opt for acetaminophen and avoid aspirin or ibuprofen. Take note that both aspirin and ibuprofen tend to thin out the blood. These blood thinning medications are not suitable for bruises since they make the blood vessels vulnerable, thus worsening the existing bruises and preventing the healing process. You have to schedule an appointment with the doctor so that the right medications for pain relief can be provided.