Sports injuries - bruise

If a blood vessel is torn by an injury (for example, bruise, fall, or bump) and blood enters the surrounding tissue, it is called bruising (hematoma).

Sports injuries - bruise

Bruise - Blue spots

Whether in sports or everyday life - bruising is quick: a collision with the bicycle handlebar, a rude braking inline skating, a collision with another football player or the slip-up in the pool. Some notice the pain only after some time. If a blood vessel breaks through an injury (such as contusion, fall or impact) and blood enters the surrounding tissue, it is called a bruise (Hematoma).

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Symptoms - red, green, yellow

If a superficial vessel is affected, you soon see the typical bruise that takes on different colors as you heal. The color changes occur when the blood is broken down by the body:

  • red - A vessel ruptures and the liquid blood enters the tissue, the blood pigment hemoglobin stains it red.
  • dark-blue - the blood clots.
  • Brown black - Proteins degrade the blood pigment to the bile pigment choleglobin / verdoglobin.
  • dark green - further conversion to the bile pigment biliverdin.
  • yellow-brown - The end product of the degradation is the bile pigment bilirubin, which turns the spot yellowish

This degradation process and thus the skin discoloration take about two weeks. In addition to the discoloration also occurs a local swelling, which hurts to pressure.

If not superficial, but deeper vessels are injured, the bruise is not visible as a color change, but as swelling. The jammed blood puts pressure on the surrounding tissue, which is usually painful. Extensive bleeding can also affect the functioning of muscles and joints. Deep injuries sometimes cause a bruise after a few days. In the worst case, a deep hematoma can not be completely dissolved and it calcifies in the muscle.

In the typical sports injuries, bruising usually occurs on the affected joint (jump, wrist, etc.) or in the area of ​​the affected muscles (for example, calf bruising with bruising in the calf area).

First aid

Bruising is harmless in most cases and disappears on its own after a few days. However, a hematoma in the skull or in the eye socket can be dangerous. It can press on eye muscles, nerves and the eyeball. Or there are additional injuries such as bleeding in the brain. This also applies to people who take blood-thinning medication and hurt themselves. In this case, the drugs inhibit blood clotting and can lead to extensive bleeding.

  • If only bruising has occurred, you should cool the affected area for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can use ice packs, (ice creams with caution) or envelopes with cold water. The cold causes the blood vessels to contract and less blood to escape. But: do not lay ice directly on the skin due to the risk of local frostbite!
  • Store the injured area - if possible; This also reduces the blood flow to the injured area.
  • Avoid further movements; as a result, the muscles would continue to be well supplied with blood and the hemorrhage intensified.
  • Do not overstress the affected body part a few days after the injury. Otherwise it can lead to a re-bleeding and further vascular injuries.
  • In the first 24 hours: Drink no alcohol, no local heat treatment, no massage in the injury area!

When to the doctor?

In case of suspected additional injuries such as fractures or joint injuries, large bruises that spread quickly, severe impact injuries to the head or bruises of the genitals you must definitely consult a doctor. For example, falls on the buttocks and hips (such as when skating) can lead to very large bruises.

If the pain or swelling is very pronounced or body functions such as joint mobility are restricted, you should also seek the help of a specialist.

Usually, a doctor can already make a diagnosis based on the description of the accident and the symptoms. In some cases, the bruise, especially when it is deeper, is represented by an ultrasound examination in more detail.

Hematomas, which are very large and spread rapidly, must be treated as soon as possible in the hospital, as such injuries can lead to life-threatening shock states.Very large hematomas or bruises in the immediate vicinity of a joint are sometimes operated on. The clotted blood is removed. After healing a hematoma, no discomfort or pain should be left behind.

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