What Does A Bruised Bone Feel Like?

What Does A Bruised Bone Feel Like?

When you hear the word bruise, you likely picture a black and blue mark on your skin. However, bruises also happen in the bone. A bone bruise is an unfortunate traumatic injury to a bone that is less severe than a fracture but still painful. Our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute would like to share some information about the signs of a bruised bone and what you can do to relieve your symptoms. Continue reading to learn more! 

Different Types of Bone Bruises

A bone bruise, or bone contusion, occurs when you sustain a small injury on the surface of a bone. Your bone isn’t actually broken, but bleeding occurs underneath the periosteum, which is the area that covers the bone. A bone bruise is classified into different types depending on where it occurs on the bone:

  • Subchondral – This type of bone bruise occurs when the bone and cartilage separate and results in cartilage bleeding. 
  • Subperiosteal – A subperiosteal hematoma is a result of impact on the periosteum. This tissue is on top of the bone and allows blood to pool underneath. This type of bruise is the most painful. 
  • Interosseous – This type of bone bruising is caused by compressive, repeated impact to a particular area and results in bone marrow damage. Many athletes experience this injury on the elbows and knees. 

What Does A Bone Bruise Feel Like?

Your bones consist of several layers of tissue and fibers that overlap to form solid bone. This network of fibers assists with the retention of minerals that keep your bones strong and healthy. A bruised bone typically occurs when you hit something hard enough to damage the cortex. 

Your body has to repair the damaged fibers in order for your injury to heal. When the bone is severely damaged, many of these fibers will break and result in a fracture. A bone bruise occurs when only a few fibers in the bone break. Some of the symptoms of a bruised bone include:

  • Tenderness and pain in the injured area. 
  • Swelling.
  • Skin discoloration in the injured area. 
  • Hard lump under the skin in the injured area. 
  • Stiffness.
  • Pain.

A bone bruise is usually painful and lasts for a few weeks, but the contusion recovery can vary and alter depending on how the injury is treated. Our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute can help confirm your injury and implement proper treatment. 

Treating A Bone Bruise

If you sustain a bone bruise, there are several ways to manage this injury. Here are some tips from our orthopedic experts on what to do if you sustain this injury:

  • Seek Treatment – Our orthopedist will perform imaging tests to confirm that your injury is a bone bruise. These injuries can also be painful, so visiting our orthopedist can help you manage your pain levels. 
  • Protect the Injury – Bone bruises are unlike normal bruises since they involve bone damage, so it is essential to protect them from additional trauma. If your bone bruise is near a joint, we may recommend wearing a brace during the healing process. 
  • Avoid Smoking – Nicotine products constrict the blood vessels and slow healing down, so you should avoid nicotine products to facilitate healing. 
  • Ice – Ice packs can help with swelling and reduce pain and stiffness with your injury. 

Contact Us

Bone bruises need time to heal, but our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute is here to help! Our orthopedists are here to help facilitate a smooth recovery and get you back to the activities you love pain-free. Be sure to contact us today to learn more about bone bruises or request an appointment