A bone bruise is more than a typical black and blue contusion on the skin. The term bone bruise is used to describe a painful injury to the bone that is caused by a direct blow to the bone. When the bone is slammed against the interior of a car during an accident, the force of the impact can cause tiny breaks in the upper or subchondral layer of bone. If there are enough breaks, the injury is considered a fracture.
If you have a bone bruise, the doctor will take an x-ray to confirm that the bone is not fractured. He may also order magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which will allow him to see the extent of the injury.
There is little a doctor can do to treat a bone bruise. Your doctor may prescribe pain killers to help with the discomfort of a bone bruise and suggest rest and home treatment with ice. Unfortunately, if there is a lot of bruising, the injury and the pain can last for months.
A bone bruise on its own is not considered a serious injury. But, bone bruises often accompany other injuries such as dislocations, fractures, and torn ligaments.
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