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How Do I Treat a Bruised Knee?

A doctor wrapping a bruised knee with a support bandage.
Pain medication can help with knee pain.
Ice cubes in a sealed plastic bag can be used as a cold compress on a bruise.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 April 2014
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Bruised knees occur because some type of injury has caused the small blood vessels around the knee to leak blood beneath the skin. In some cases, the bruise may be tender to the touch, as well as a little sore. There is also some chance that the bruise in on the bone itself, and more serious than simply a collection of blood beneath the skin. In any event, there are several effective ways to deal with a bruised knee and facilitate the healing process.

One of the first steps to effectively treating a bruised knee is to assess the degree of damage that has taken place. This will require the services of a qualified physician. After a careful examination of the knee injury that includes taking x-rays and possibly an MRI, the doctor can determine if any damaged ligaments are involved, or if there is any damage to the bones of the knee. Once the origin of the bruising is identified, it is possible to move forward with treating the condition.

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For just about any type of bruised knee, the use of ice packs is recommended. This treatment can be administered immediately, even before seeing a doctor. If an ice pack is not readily available, a bag of frozen vegetables will work. Another quick substitute involves using a resealable storage bad that is filled with ice cubes or chips. Applying ice to the knee immediately will help minimize the swelling and make it easier for a doctor to assess the problem.

In situations where the bruised knee is due to physical stress that causes a few blood vessels to leak blood below the skin, there is usually no cause for alarm. Taking a simple over the counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as aspirin, will help ease the pain. In a few days, the bruising should begin to fade. After a week or so, the bruise should be completely gone.

However, if the bruised knee is one of the outward signs of more severe knee problems, the doctor may choose to recommend that the knee be wrapped with a support bandage. Ice packs can still be applied several times a day to help ease swelling. Prescription medications may be necessary to prevent infection and promote healing. In addition, some doctors may counsel patients to increase their intake of vitamins such as A, C, and K in order to strengthen the immune system, fight infection, and promote bone healing.

Regardless of the nature of the bruised knee, rest is very important to the recovery process. Propping the knee up while sitting and curtailing activities such as running or bike riding for several days will go a long way toward allowing the body to heal itself. In the case of a bone bruise, it may take a month or so for the healing to be complete. Work closely with your doctor to determine what activities are considered safe during each phase of your recovery.

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Discuss this Article

anon218411
Post 3

Arnica for bruises. It takes the heat out of them and helps them heal faster. Virtually any brand is OK. I have tried half a dozen different varieties and they all work about the same.

Comparables
Post 2

A bruised knee can also be a sign of a Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) knee injury. The MCL can suffer first, second, and third degree sprains, which result from twisting or impacts to the knee.

First-degree sprains only result in minimal ligament fiber damage, but they are still painful. Pain during bending motions and pain on the interior side of the knee is common with a first-degree sprain.

A second-degree sprain is a combination of muscle damage and a partial ligament rupture. I suffered a second-degree sprain from a cleat striking me above the anterior portion of my knee, and it is very painful. The knee swells, and the muscles in the thigh and shin are pulled.

A third-degree sprain is the worst. The knee is literally blown out, and often other parts of the knee are damaged from the blow.

cupcake15
Post 1

What I normally do when one of my children suffer from a bruised knee from a fall is clean the wound completely.

Then I place some Neosporin which helps to numb the pain in the knee. It also ensures that the bruised knee will not become infected.

They even sell a key chain version of Neosporin so that you can always be ready. It really works fast and my kids relax when they see that I have it ready. I guess they know what to expect. I certainly love it.

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