In the movie "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (played by DeForest Kelley) confronts a disheartened Captain Kirk (William Shatner) on his birthday and delivers a "Bones bruise" that's designed to get the captain going again: "Jim ... get back to your command. Get back ... before you really do grow old."
It took Kirk a while to shake off that psychic contusion — just like it does if you get a bone bruise while playing sports or suffer an accident.
But if you're smart, you'll be able to get back in the game pretty quickly.
There are three types of bone bruises: a subperiosteal hematoma, where blood builds up beneath the fibrous membrane covering a bone; an interosseous bruise, where bleeding and swelling occurs in the central cavity of the bone, the place marrow is stored; and a subchondral lesion, in which bleeding and swelling occur between cartilage and bone, usually from a compressive or twisting force.
All three types can cause swelling, joint pain or tenderness, inflammation, and stiffness.
Sometimes, if the bruise is deep and large — and if you don't see a doctor — it blocks blood flow to the injured section of bone, leading to irreversible necrosis.
The treatment is R.I.C.E.: Give it a REST! Apply ICE cold packs for 20 minutes three times daily. COMPRESS the injured area. And ELEVATE the injury to reduce swelling.
Take over-the-counter pain medication and wear a brace if necessary.
If your symptoms worsen or are not relieved in a day or two, see a doctor.
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