How do I Treat a Knee Contusion?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2019
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A knee contusion can be treated by following some recommended guidelines. Simple knee contusions can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and over-the-counter pain relievers. More severe knee contusions, such as those involving bone, may require further treatment options, such as physical therapy and microcurrent therapy.

Knee contusions associated with pain need rest. Bleeding and inflammation as a result of the bruising may limit movement of the knee joint. Activity can further aggravate any swelling or pain that may be related to the knee contusion. Avoid any strenuous activity until swelling and pain begin to subside.

Apply ice regularly to help alleviate swelling associated with the knee contusion. Experts recommend to ice in 20 minute intervals several times throughout the day. Place a towel between the ice and the skin to prevent skin irritation.

Elevate the bruised knee to help reduce swelling and pooling of blood. Keep the knee propped up, possibly with a pillow underneath. The knee should be elevated above the heart.

An ace bandage may be used to help compress the bruised knee. Wrapping the injured area lightly can help limit further swelling, keep the knee stable, and protect from further injury. Alleviating the swelling may also reduce pain.


Medication may be suggested by a physician for a knee contusion. This can include the use of anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, to help limit swelling. These medications also help relieve pain. In severe cases, a physician may prescribe a stronger pain medication.

Most knee contusions will get better over time with rest, ice, and medication, but some may need the attention of a physician. For contusions that occur on the bone structures of the knee, additional examination is necessary. A physician may recommend a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to verify that bruising has occurred to one of the bones of the knee, such as the kneecap.

Knee contusions on the bones related to the knee joint can cause severe pain and limit the ability of the patient to move the knee joint without experiencing significant pain and limited motion. In this case, physical therapy and specific icing massage regimens administered by a physician may help. Physical therapy will focus on increasing the range of motion of the joint over time, allowing a patient to return to normal activities.

Other alternative treatments exist for treating a knee contusion. This includes microcurrent therapy that can help stimulate healing when applied directly to the bruised area. Other options include taking vitamin supplements, such as Vitamins K, A, and C, to speed the recovery process.


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