August 26, 2009

Knee Hematoma Treatment

Posted in Category : Hematoma

A hematoma is the “black and blue” mark that forms on the surface of the skin when we hurt ourselves. It is a collection of blood outside the blood vessels, as the blood vessels burst or tear on impact. If a hematoma occurs under the skin, usually, there will be no problem. However, if it occurs between the skull and the brain, it may become a life threatening issue. A hematoma is also known as a bruise or a contusion.

Causes of Hematoma on the Knee

  • Any physical harm to the body causes hematoma. Some clotting disorders like hemophilia, a hereditary bleeding disorder, can also cause hematomas.
  • During arthroplasty, a method to correct a severe verus and a flexion deformity of the knee, knee hematomas may form due to the release of the medical collateral ligament.
  • Hematomas on the knee are also a common postoperative complication in knee surgeries. It may be caused due to the damage or injury to the blood vessels around the knee. If blood thinner is used during surgery to prevent blood clot, a hematoma is apparent. Since, blood thinners prevent the blood from clotting, the surgical incision becomes prone to developing a hematoma.
  • An injury to the tissue in the knee also results in the damage of blood vessel, and the bleeding of blood vessels beneath the skin causes a hematoma.

Thus, knee hematomas can occur after an injury or after a knee surgery. Knee hematomas can cause pain, tenderness and swelling.

Knee Hematoma Treatment

A knee hematoma is caused due to the accumulation of blood under the skin of the knee, due to trauma to the knee. Usually, a hematoma is considered to be a good thing as this prevents further bleeding. However, one should not rule out other possibilities of injuries like a fracture. So, it is advisable to consult a doctor when you have a hematoma behind or on top of the knee. Even though the severity of the hematoma depends on its location, usually it disappears within few days without any treatment.

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are the common treatments for minor hematomas.
  • Hematomas on knee, restrict the movement of the knee joint, so it is important to take adequate rest and to avoid putting any strain on the joint. Jogging, running, and strenuous exercises should be avoided completely.
  • Icing the hematoma on the knee for about fifteen minutes, three to four times a day, can help to control swelling. Hot compresses using a hot water bottle or heating pad can speed up the recovery process. Heat promotes blood circulation and healing.
  • Over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen helps to alleviate discomfort. Applying tropical creams or ointment can numb the skin as well. However, do not massage directly on the hematoma as bleeding may start again. Consult a doctor for proper advice and medication.
  • Applying turmeric powder on the hematoma helps to prevent secondary infection.
  • Elevating the body above the heart helps to hasten the healing process as the accumulated blood is drained through lymphatic system due to gravity.

Although, hematomas that occur due to small injury do not require any treatment, larger hematomas that do not heal need medical attention. The treatment for large-sized hematomas includes incision and drainage. The accumulated blood is drained using a sterile needle, and this medical procedure is called as aspiration. Injecting a hyaluronidase, an enzyme, helps the body to absorb the blood quickly.

If the knee hematoma is large, it will contain more blood and will take long time to disappear. If it remains unchanged or continues to grow, one should consult the doctor immediately. If a hematoma occurs without any trauma, falls or bumps, it is vital to see a doctor.