What Is a Knee Contusion Recovery Time

A knee contusion normally arises from a blow to or fall on the knee. The knee is particularly vulnerable to contusions. In addition to the contusion, a knee injury may lead to abrasions or skin tears, which are frequent in knee injuries, according to HealthCareClinic.org. Recovery from a knee contusion may take a few days or a number of weeks, depending upon the severity of the injury and how it is handled.

About Contusions

A contusion happens when the skin of the knee and the underlying tissues suffer a direct blow. Small capillary called blood vessels burst, spilling blood into the tissues, muscles and tendons of the knee. The bleeding can cause swelling and bruising along with pain in the knee, according iytmed.com. If the swelling is severe, the tissues might feel tight when pushed with a finger. Bleeding might gravitate down the leg, so the shin or calf may also be bruised. In addition to the tissue injury, the bone of the knee might be bruised, which enhances the severity of the injury.


The fundamental treatment for a knee contusion is understood by the acronym R.I.C.E., or rest, ice, compression and elevation. R.I.C.E. should be begun as quickly as the injury happens. Rest the knee; prevent sports or work activities that will put stress on the injured area, such as climbing up stairs or running. The University of Iowa advises a cloth-covered ice bag for 20 minutes 4 to eight times a day. An elastic plaster will offer compression to help reduce swelling and supply support. Boost the knee above the level of the heart as much as possible to assist reduce swelling and drain excess fluid from the knee.

Other Strategies

Although ice is advised at first for a knee contusion, heat can also promote recovery. After the first 48 to 72 hours, you might change to heat rather of ice if it feels better. Heat increases blood circulation in the injured knee and may help reduce swelling. You may likewise massage the knee or apply heating lotions to increase flow in the injured area. HealthCareClinic.org likewise suggests you eat extra protein during recovery to promote recovery.

Knee Contusion Recovery Time

The intensity of the injury will determine how long it takes for your knee to heal. An easy bruise may vanish within a week, particularly if your pain is minor and you have the ability to carry out gentle workout to keep the knee limber. Severe bruising and swelling may take numerous weeks to subside, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The AAOS alerts that if you stress the knee by trying to do too much, you may delay recovery.


Getting prompt medical treatment and following your doctor’s advice about rehab can help you avoid major medical complications that periodically arise from deep muscle contusions. Two of the more common complications are compartment syndrome and myositis ossificans.

  • Compartment Syndrome
    In specific cases, rapid bleeding might cause exceptionally painful swelling within the muscle group of your arm, leg, foot, or buttock. Accumulation of pressure from fluids several hours after a contusion injury can interrupt blood circulation and avoid nourishment from reaching the muscle group. Compartment syndrome might need immediate surgery to drain pipes the excess fluids.
  • Myositis Ossificans
    Young professional athletes who try to restore a severe contusion too rapidly in some cases establish myositis ossificans. This is a condition in which the bruised muscle grows bone instead of new muscle cells.

Symptoms may include mild to severe pain that does not disappear and swelling at the injury site. Abnormal bone developments can likewise reduce your versatility. Energetic stretching exercises may make the condition even worse.

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation to reduce inflammation will usually help. Gentle extending exercises may enhance versatility. Surgery is rarely required.



Updated: August 17, 2016 — 5:07 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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