Orthopaedics

What is a Muscle Contusion?

One of the most common, in fact the second most common sports injury is a

muscle contusion

, most commonly known as a bruise as well. Especially, athletes who are into contact sports like football, rugby, wrestling etc. are known to suffer the most from contusions. Although most contusions are not a big cause of worry, some can lead to severe complications forcing an athlete to stay out of action for months.

What is a Muscle Contusion?:

What exactly happens in a contusion is that the muscle gets crushed against the bone due to a direct injury like a kick or a punch. When this happens, the muscle can either begin to bleed internally while not allowing the fluids to escape from within the injured muscle or the bleeding occurs while allowing the fluids to flow out.

In the above mentioned two cases, the first mentioned injury is called an

intramuscular injury

 

and the second one is called an

intermuscular injury

 

. While the former injuries are complicated and can take a lot of time to heal, the latter heal easily and are actually not a cause of big concern.

In intramuscular injuries, when the muscle gets jammed against the bone, causing the muscle and the skin to tear simultaneously.

Classification of Contusions:

A contusion of the muscle can be classified into three grades, viz. Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3.

  • A Grade 1 contusion causes moderate swelling and pain which can last for at least 2-3 days. The range of motion is in no way affected.
  • A Grade 2 contusion causes moderate pain and would be tender to touch and the pain can also last for at least 5 days. The range of motion would be limited and ultrasound or electrical stimulation would be required for the injury to heal quickly.
  • A Grade 3 contusion is the worst of all and the pain can be severely excruciating. A surgery could be required in some cases to deal with a Grade 3.

The best way to treat a

muscle contusion

is to implement the

RICE

 

(

Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation

 

) technique.

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