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Bone contusion after hit and run crash; how long to heal?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I was hit from the side; skier took off.  I'd had previous ACL/meniscus surgeries so was totally freaked out.  He hit me right where the incisions were located; slightly above the knee and over the LCL.


Anyway, it got worse over the next several days and I had an orthopaedic PA look at it.  No MRI, but diagnosis was bone contusion; slight sprain to the CL's.  This was about 10 days ago.


I tried to ski and was OK parallel but in agony when I went into a wedge (I teach).  I've been icing and bracing and taking NSAIDs.  The pain seems to be more generalized now; at first it was on the lateral side of the knee joint and it's since spread; sometimes to the back of the knee.  Very sudden pain and very intense at times.


I'm supposed to work tomorrow and obviously I"ll find out if I even can.


Anyone had experience with bone bruise treatment/healing time?





post #2 of 16
So sorry to hear that, Jane. Wish you speedy recovery.

Maybe it was just an accident, and the skier fled out of fear or lack of integrity, but your story reminds me of a conversation I had with a ski patroller on a lift ride this week. Very recently in SoCal, there was this juvenile football player who would just hit people on purpose and share it on YouTube video for fun. One girl who got hit found his videos, revealed his disturbing criminal pattern, and prosecuted him. He's put in jail.
post #3 of 16

Is it possible for you to get an MRI? Really the only way a bone bruise can be diagnosed is through MRI, as far as I know, and hopefully it would confirm that nothing else is messed up. Did you have an xray?

A bone contusion is really a type of fracture, just a very minor one. The first step toward breaking the bone. Would you ski on a broken leg? Probably not on purpose, so I would treat it with care, especially early on. 


We were told that the only way to treat a bone bruise is by rest; do not aggravate the healing process. Hard stuff takes longer to heal than soft stuff. We did take my daughter to pt and had some ultrasound and stim in an effort to speed up the healing; I don't know if it worked or not, because there isn't a set period of time for comparison. I think she was out of soccer at least 2 months, maybe 3. Walking didn't really hurt, but running did. We had quite a bit of difficulty with her gym teacher at school, because she didn't "look" all that injured, but the doctor was strict about no running or loading the leg until the pain was gone. The gym teacher thought she was faking to get out of class, but we had doctor's notes and everything. 


I was out a few months as well, but I had some other issues going on at the time; I don't think my actual contusion was as bad as hers was. 

post #4 of 16

It's a deep pain and I'm sorry that happened to you.


I sustained a bone bruise on the tibia plateau with partial "cl" tears and it took longer for the bone to heal than anything else. It also hur the most. I was told it takes six weeks for bones to heal and that was about right, although it got a lot better before that. Just six weeks before it felt like I didn't want to favor it.


know that's not what you wanted to hear, but...

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

The PA did not take an Xray or MRI.  My PT also thought it was a bone bruise.  Ligaments are intact.


PA also told me I could try to ski on it; just for an hour, then see.


Today I've been home icing on an off.  I know that won't speed healing, but it feels better.  At least temporarily.


I'm only 12 days post-injury.  I will listen to my pain level when I go to ski school tomorrow and quit right away if a problem.  I will be very bummed if out for the season.  Supposed to go to Utah in Feb., never mind my commitment to ski school.




Any suggestions welcome

post #6 of 16

Don't be disheartened. February is almost 5 week away.

post #7 of 16

My daughter was hit by a car while riding her bike back in Mid November and suffered a deep bone bruise around her knee.  She was on crutches for about 4 or 5 days and heavily limping for several more.  She was back on her bike indoors within a week and back riding outdoors by early December.  It takes a while longer for the pain to completely go away.  It actually still bothers her a bit.


And I would get the MRI, that is the only way they really know what is going on with the soft tissue.

post #8 of 16

riding a bike was the therapy prescribed after initial PT.  rode and rode and rode. It gets blood in there without being weight bearing. since it's winter, stationary bike will do.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Too bad I gave away my indoor bike about six months ago!  It brought back too many bad memories of the two years I spent in PT after two surgeries for ACL/meniscus/arthrofibrosis...


Thanks for the suggestions, folks.  I'm willing to try just about anything.  Will let you know how tomorrow goes....I have a private booked and that is escalating my eagerness to get out there.



post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Three weeks post injury today, although it feels like forever.  I've gone back to ski school; braces on leg and skiing very conservatively.  Intermittent pain when skiing but more constant aching after wards; ie. that night and the next morning.  Not much if any better than the first week.


Been going to PT to calm down the pain.  Getting some laser treatment and very gentle quad strengthening.  Oh, the PT also found a muscle tear in the quad.  Great!


It's def. not back to normal. Getting discouraged about being able to go to Utah.  How are the conditions there, anyway?



post #11 of 16

My son suffered a "bone bruise" on the plateau of his right tibia after being hit by a teammate in Mt Hood this past July, confirmed by MRI. Made for a tough preseason and he only managed about half of his preseason training camp (7-1/2 weeks) in Europe because of the pain, aggravating it and missing the last two weeks completely. Pain got so bad he had another X-ray and MRI in Switzerland (fortunately no more damage). When he got back, he was in physio 2-3 times a weeks for 5 weeks and was only able to perform non-impact activities. Only after that with a strict return to full activity program, which was basically managing the level of activity in line with the pain, he has been able to get back to 90-95% after 6 months.


Rest is the only real treatment. I am sure that my son would have been healed up quicker had he skipped the first 2-3 weeks of the Europe camp, but we didn't know how bad, and how he would respond.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

I think I'd better cancel my Utah trip; three weeks away....


I am icing whenever possible; the only thing that really helps.


Jane B

post #13 of 16

Sorry that you had to make that decision, but seems like a good one. Bone bruise may not sound as bad as bone break, but it takes about as long to heal, and hurts about as much. Take care of yourself!

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I can report that it's taking forever to heal. It's now three months. No, I haven't given it adequate rest.

I went back to ski school with a brace and skied greens, so that didn't really bother it. I skied a few times more aggressively and that did bother it. I cancelled my trip to Utah but last week went to British Columbia.

I had a blast and didn't really get pain until the last two days. Now, four days after my return, I'm in pain.

I saw a physical therapist right before I left, who thought I'd be fine skiing. I have been regularly doing PT all along.

Time for imaging, I think.

post #15 of 16

Update from above (not good news) -  my son (FIS racer) has been dealing with a bone bruise on the tibial plateau after a collision since last July. He is still in some pain, but it doesn't prevent him from skiing. Some hard impacts are still jarring. Imaging at this point will likely not show anything, he's had two MRIs, the first right after the incident barely showed anything, and the second in Europe 3 months later, despite intense pain, showed no signs. A contusion or bone bruise is really micro-fractures and most bone injuries don't show well on MRIs anyways. Significant cases will show up as a slight "ghosting" but lesser cases may not show at all. Doesn't mean it hurts any less, it just doesn't reveal itself on X-rays or MRIs. 


It's a crappy injury to get because nothing but complete rest and time can heal it. Correction, and probably not viable, but I did see some reports of something called Frequency Specific Microcurrent being used. It is like TENS but in the micro-volt (millionths) range and requires a series of treatments using very specific frequencies. It is supposed to mimic the voltage and frequencies of nerves to stimulate healing responses. However the little I did see about bone regrowth seems to require direct attachment to the bone to be truly effective.

post #16 of 16

I've had a bone bruise on both knees.My experience is that it takes four to six months to fully heal. Try not to pound the knee with running or hard skiing, ice whenever possible. Hot and cold treatments and acupuncture worked for me. But you have to be patient, it takes time.

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