Differentiating A Bruise From A Break

Differentiating A Bruise From A Break

When people think of bruises, they likely attribute this to a muscular issue. However, did you know that the bones of your body can be bruised as well? When it comes to receiving treatment, a differentiation between bone bruises and breaks must be made. Fortunately, here at New York Sports Medicine Institute, our team is well versed in this area. We will provide insight on how this differentiation is made and he can offer treatment for both ailments.

What Is A Bone Bruise?

The best way to help patients differentiate between bone bruises and breaks is to discuss these types of injuries as individuals. To accomplish this, the first one we will touch on is bone bruises. These occur when you sustain a small injury on the top surface of one of your bones. While any of your bones can be bruised, this type of injury most commonly occurs to the ones closest to the top layer of skin. If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, it is very possible that a bone bruise is to blame:

  • Stiffness.
  • Swelling of a joint.
  • Tenderness and pain that lasts longer than a typical bruise.
  • Limited mobility in the injured area.

What Is A Bone Break?

Next, our team would like to address bone breaks. These injuries are typically more serious than bone bruises and require a more elaborate treatment plan to correct. What occurs during this type of injury is given away by the name, as it involves part of the bone becoming completely broken. Injuries such as these can come with a variety of complications, as other soft tissues are likely to be damaged during these breaks as well. The symptoms that point to a broken bone taking place include:

  • Severe pain in the injured area.
  • Being completely unable to move the injured area.
  • A visible deformity of the area.
  • Swelling, bruising, and tenderness.
  • If occurring in the lower half of your body, inability to bear any weight.  

Common Causes

One important thing to keep in mind when it comes to bone bruises and breaks is that both of these injuries have similar causes. Because of this, it may be hard to understand right away which has taken place. That is why, when possible, it is best to work towards avoiding these stimulants so you can remain protected. Some of the most common ones that our team sees patients affected by typically include:

  • Suffering trauma as the result of a fall.
  • Motor vehicle accidents.
  • Hyperextending a body part during sports or any other physical activities.
  • Overusing certain body parts.
  • Wearing improper safety equipment for the task you are about to complete.

The Differentiating Process

In our experience, the easiest way to differentiate between a bone bruise and break is through the use of medical imaging technology. When you suspect one of the two has happened, and you’re dealing with severe pain and limited mobility, it likely points to a break. However, you could be dealing with a very painful bruise. That is why imaging tests are the best bet for a proper diagnosis. X-rays are the most common in this case. X-ray technology allows doctors to see images of your bones. When examined, these images will clearly show if the bone is broken or not, which will enable us to differentiate between that and a bone bruise.    

Schedule An Appointment

Whether you are dealing with a bone bruise or break, the most important thing is receiving proper treatment. Here at New York Sports Medicine Institute, we’ll work to help prevent this from happening. To receive the treatment you need following either a bruise or break, be sure to contact our team today.