A knee contusion — also called a bone bruise on your knee — can be severely painful and may even make walking difficult for several weeks. Physical therapy is often recommended for a bone bruise on the knee to help speed up the recovery time. In some cases, a knee bone bruise left untreated could take several months to heal.
What causes a bone bruise on the knee?
The most common cause of a bone bruise on the knee is blunt impact. This is especially true for people who have arthritis in the knees. Arthritis is the degradation of the protective cartilage that surrounds the joints. When this is in the knee joint, the cartilage that protects the joint during movement wears down. So when a fall happens, there is nothing (or not much) to cushion the blow to the knee bone itself.
Physical therapy helps to treat bone bruises on the knee with a combination of treatments to help decrease the swelling and inflammation of the knee, as well as to regain strength, stability and range of motion.
Common recovery goals for physical therapy patients who have a knee bone bruise
Often, a bruise on the knee bone impacts the most basic lifestyle activities. When we see patients for this type of physical therapy treatment, we often hear the following goals for recovery:
1. Stand up after sitting for any length of time — Because a bruised knee bone often coincides with arthritis of the knee (remember, arthritis is what deteriorates the protective cartilage in the knee joint and allows the knee bone to take the impact of the fall without cushion), the ability to stand after sitting is very difficult and painful. The ligaments in the knee rub against the bruised knee bone without any/much cushion, causing sharp pain and limited mobility. Physical therapy for knee bone bruises can help to restore the range of motion and stability in the knee.
2. Walk without pain/walk long distances again — Physical therapy for knee bone bruises helps to increase strength in the knees and mobility, allowing patients to get back on their feet. Therapies such as instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) that helps to restore the connective tissue and manual therapy that helps increase range of motion and strength to the surrounding muscles and ligaments can help you to once again enjoy an active lifestyle.
3. Carry any objects while walking — The knees already bear the weight of the upper body, so adding additional weight by carrying something while the knee bone is bruised can add additional pain to your injury. Physical therapy can help the knee to bear weight once again.
If you’ve suffered from a bone contusion, you may benefit from our physical therapy for knee bone bruise treatment. Contact us today to schedule a free screening and learn more about the treatment options available to you.