Q:

How do you heal a bone bruise?

A:

Quick Answer

Rest, ice and elevation are the initial healing steps for a bone bruise. After that, medications to reduce swelling and pain, physical therapy, not smoking and wearing a splint are all possible treatments, as stated by eHealthStar.

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Full Answer

Bone bruises result from a compression injury to the bone. They are most common in the ankle and knee, and they are marked by swelling and pain in the affected joint. They do not show up on X-ray images, which means that an MRI is necessary for accurate diagnosis. Recovery time can last several months, according to eHealthStar.

Elevating the affecting limb and applying ice packs to the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day is helpful in the first few days after the injury. Resting the affected limb, and using a cane or crutches until walking is possible without pain is helpful, as well. Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, reduce the swelling and pain around the bruise, and some patients require physical therapy in the form of exercises that does not require bearing the body's full weight to retain full degree of motion and fight off stiffness. Because nicotine hinders healing, people who smoke should abstain while the bruise is healing. Recovery time for bone bruises in the ankle can last a year or longer, while in the knee, recovery ranges from 2 months to 2 years, notes eHealthStar.

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