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Author Topic: bone contusion - help  (Read 301 times)

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Offline selenoz

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bone contusion - help
« on: March 12, 2018, 05:15:57 AM »
Hello everyone,

I first started to feel unusual pain in my right knee almost two months ago while playing volleyball. Besides climbing up/down stairs extending the leg was very painful so that I could only walk with a bended knee position then I went to OS immediately. He thought everything is alright, and as long as I stretch and warm up enough I can continue playing volleyball.

2-3 days after the pain, I started to walk normally and pain free and I thought everything is alright. I continued playing volleyball and doing hiit type of exercises and it went worse and worse. It even started to wake me up with sharp pain several times every night whenever I stretch my leg unconsciously while sleeping. So I stopped any type of physical activity and went to my doctor again and he requested for MRI.

My results show that there is moderate contusion at the anterior aspect of medial tibial plateau. My doctor only left me a voice message saying that it is only a contusion so there is no restriction of any sports. But it has been almost 20 days that I have been limping and extending the leg is impossible. My doctor keeps saying it is okay and gives no recommendation or anything. So my only help sources are forums and blog posts.

I started to take calcium+magnesium+d3 and glucosamine chondroitin complex daily, I am avoiding any pressure on my knee and resting it as much as possible, but there is not much improvement so far.

I would really appreciate if you could share your experiences about how long healing process takes and what I can do to recover faster. I know you are going through much more serious injuries and operations but it really annoys me when my doctor says "oh it is just a contusion" and it has been two months since I have this and I have been constantly limping and in pain for the last 20 days without any improvements.

Thanks in advance.

Offline Vickster

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Re: bone contusion - help
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 07:52:58 AM »
A deep or extensive bone bruise is painful and can take 6-12 months (yes, months) to heal. Best is to rest, let it heal avoiding impact to the area, ice might offer some relief. If it's on a weight bearing area, it'll hurt when you put pressure through it (stairs put a lot of load on knees) and could take longer to resolve

Probably not what you want to hear but 3 weeks in it's still early days for a moderate knee injury, should feel better in a few months

Can you see a physiotherapist and get advice on exercises to strengthen the leg or potentially a knee support if the surgeon says it's ok to play (I'd minimise impact sports myself though)

Good luck
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
More tears and wear, scope planned in Jan 2019 to tidy up

Offline tensters

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Re: bone contusion - help
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 07:22:13 PM »
I agree with what Vickster said.

It's so interesting reading about other peoples experiences with bone bruises/contusions. It's almost always the same. It goes something like.. I hit my knee hard, it hurt a little and then got better within a couple of days and I thought I was done with it then as the weeks went on it got  progressively much worse. With a lot of "bone" pain, limping,  difficulties standing and balancing, possible pain in the back and other knee due to their taking on extra duties and difficulty finding positions to sleep or getting sleep etc because of pain.

That said, every persons injury is different and every person is different in the way they respond etc. My (severe) bone bruise was on a weight bearing spot in the MFC and on the patella. It also came along with a 4mm osteochondral defect/lesion. This was what was shown on the MRI. An Air conditioner had hit the side of my right knee. At first it didn't bother me but by the end of a month I couldn't walk or sit. I had to lay in a side lying position. It was very tough. I thought I was developing multiple sclerosis.

My OS, who initially thought I tore the meniscus and maybe sprained the MCL based on his testing of my knee before the MRI, and who discounted the possibility of a bone bruise due to it should have healed by then,  prescribed a brace and 2 months of PT. He told me no jogging, no running, no jumping, no impact to the knee. He told me that pt would be a gentle version for contusion but i tried it out and it just made it worse. I tried it a second time same thing. The brace was uncomfortable so I didn't use that.

To make a long story short, it took a good year for my knee to improve and 1.5 years for it to feel normal. My back and other knee also took a while to get better from all the strain they took on. Both of them have their own old injury history and the bone bruise in the right knee brought that history back to life and to the present. 3 injuries for the price of one. This improvement was with no PT other than gentle walks (which I would slowly increase speed and distance over months) and stairs. I had to do stairs because I live in a walk up. So I made that my pt. I also did a few gentle stretches - hamstrings, quadriceps and worked on developing good extension and good flexion ROM.

What worked for me was being real gentle with the knee - I took my OS's instructions not to impact the knee unduly to heart. One time I did overdo it and I was almost right back to where I started so I'd be careful... the bone is injured.. it has to heal. It won't do that if it being hurt through aggressive moves. And I don't think it is a good idea to aggravate it or keep aggravating it long term for the knee. On the other hand, resting it too long without moving around and getting movement is also not a good idea in my opinion. The muscles can quickly decondition and atrophy making more problems. It's a balancing act of getting movement and activity without aggravating and preventing the healing of the contusion.

So being gentle with it is important. I also started taken at the 6 month mark after I had a huge setback vitamin D and natural vitamin E which are supposed to be helpful with bones and healing and some say a negative mood. I'm not sure if they really helped but it felt like they did. I stopped taking them since I healed up some months ago.

I also stopped taking all nsaids after the first 5 months or so. They had always bothered my stomach so I did not take them regularly - just when the pain was  high or I was going to see the doctor or PT. I did not like how on days that I did not take them that my knee felt worse than its normal bad. Like the day after I had taken nsaids. I figured this was at least partly because under the influence of the nsaid my pain level was much lessened which allowed me to do things that I think bothered my bone bruise and knee but I couldn't get accurate feedback because. So I stopped taking them totally to this day.

Stopping the nsaids I feel gave me accurate feedback on how my knee was doing and what it could tolerate and then I could treat my knee better. I also read that nsaids which have their place and can be very useful and helpful, work by stopping inflammation and inflammation is part of the healing process. So I reasoned maybe they could be interfering with healing. Now if you are having a lot of pain I would take the nsaids but what I did is as I got out of the acute intense pain stage of the first months and more into just pain and muscle problems I reduced and then eliminated it as I described. This is probably somewhat controversial as many doctors would recommend to take the nsaids pretty frequently and ongoing. It's just what I did and now 1.6 years later my knee is great. No issues at all.

Other than that ice/cold seemed to help a little bit, I'm not sure really. It was more numbing than anything I think. I would strictly avoid any heat. At least for me heat made it much worse.

As far as how long it can take to heal... mine took a year. And 1.5 years later the knee is great. Can do anything. I remember reading one study which found an average of  8 months healing time. Another showed it can take up to 2 years. Severity of contusion and if there are other issues I imagine are factors that may influence healing time.

Anyways, good luck - hope it heals up quick.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 08:37:43 PM by tensters »

Offline selenoz

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Re: bone contusion - help
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 04:41:04 AM »
Vickster and tensters,

Thank you very much for your time and all the helpful information you gave to me. I really appreciate. Even though the healing time sounds scary it is very good to know what I am dealing with so that I will not rush into impact sports as soon as I start walk normally make the situation worse again. Also, to ease the stiffness, I was using some heat from time to time now I will stop doing that.

I wish you also good luck, quick recovery and no more injuries.