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What is a Common Bone Bruise Treatment?

By M.R. Anglin
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A bone bruise is an injury that occurs when one bone compresses against another. The result is a painful bruise on the exterior of the bone that can hamper a person’s lifestyle. One common bone bruise treatment consists of an ice massage, rest, and the administration of pain medication. As with many other bruises, a bone bruise will heal if given enough time. Certain exercises may also be required as part of treating a bone bruise in order to return the patient to his normal activities.

Bone bruises can occur when a person experiences trauma. Sometimes, two bones will push against one another, resulting in damage to the outer covering of the bone. That damage can allow fluid to seep into the surrounding area and can result in a bone bruise. Many times, bone bruises are accompanied by pain, swelling, and discoloration of the skin. The bones that are often involved in this phenomenon are the tibia and the femur, and it is usually the femur that acquires the bruise

One of the first steps to a common bone bruise treatment is to massage the area with ice. It is usually recommended that an ice massage is administered about five minutes a day for several times during that day. The cold treatment serves to constrict blood flow and helps to reduce swelling and pain. In addition, it also helps to promote healing in the area. Though an ice massage is recommended to be administered several times a day, it should not be used for more than five minutes at a time.

The second step in a common bone bruise treatment is simply to rest. Working the damaged bone may cause more damage and slow the healing process. This may be particularly true when speaking about a bone bruise that has occurred in the knee joint. Resting the body can help a person to heal faster and get back to his activities sooner. Pain medication can also be used to help reduce pain.

It is recommended that a person visit the doctor even if he thinks he has a bone bruise. Some injuries may have the same symptoms as a bone bruise but may be completely different. A doctor may recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose the injury correctly before recommending further treatment. It may also be necessary for a person to undergo special exercises as a part of his bone bruise treatment in order to regain the body’s original range of motion. That way, he can return to his activities with more normality.

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Discussion Comments
By cloudel — On Aug 08, 2012

My little sister has a bone bruise, and I'm not sure how to treat bruises that run that deep. We've given her ice packs and acetaminophen, but I have heard that after the first 24 hours, it is okay to use a heating pad instead of ice.

Does anyone know if this applies to bone bruises? I've heard it used on regular bruises, but I am not sure if the two need to be treated differently.

By seag47 — On Aug 07, 2012

@Kristee – Ice is great, but only if you have access to it within the first few minutes of your injury. I didn't, so it couldn't do a whole lot for me.

I had been in a car wreck and had injured my knee badly. I went to the hospital, but no one put ice on it for me. They were more concerned with getting me to the x-ray table.

I did get some powerful painkillers to help me through the first week. However, the bruise turned out to be awful. It took months to heal, and I couldn't walk on that leg during that time.

By Kristee — On Aug 07, 2012

Ice can help even a deep bruise heal more quickly and look less awful in the meantime. I injured my tibia on a sharp brick porch step, and massaging it with ice a few times a day helped keep the swelling from getting out of hand.

I knew that there would be some swelling and bruising regardless of what I did, but I was amazed at how much ice helped keep that to a minimum. This was a bad injury, but it wound up not looking nearly as bad as I expected it to look.

By Perdido — On Aug 06, 2012

My doctor told me that rest is the most important step in healing a bone bruise. You can apply ice all you want, but if you don't give the area enough time to heal before making it bear your weight, you could end up taking even longer to heal.

I loved playing basketball, but it required way too much running and jumping for me to be able to do it while healing. I had to take several months off from playing, and that nearly killed me!

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