Periostial Contusion (Bone Bruise)

A periostial contusion is also known as a bone bruise. It is bruising of the periostium or tough thin sheath which surrounds the outer surface of bone.

What is a bone bruise?

A bone bruise is injury to the bone, or more likely the periostium surrounding the bone caused by direct impact or trauma. This might be from collision with an opponant, being kicked, or being struct by a ball, puck, hockey stick or other sporting implement.

Shin splints periostium

The periostium is a thin fibrous tissue which is firmly attached to the outer surface of bone. Trauma damages blood vessels in the periostium. This results in a haematoma (blood swelling) under the surface. Sometimes this results in lumps and bumps over the injured area. Because there is limited space between the periostium and surface of the bone, the haematoma is prevented from spreading.


What does a bone bruise feel like?

Very painful! Periostial contusions usually occur at areas where the bone is close to the skin. These include the inside of the shin, bony parts of the hip and elbow. As a result, it has very little protection from soft tissue such as muscle and fat. The periostium also has plenty of nerve endings which are stimulated resulting in pain.


Hip pointer

A hip pointer is a specific injury caused by impact to the iliac crest along top surface of the pelvis. This is particularly painful because if affects the cluneal nerve which runs along the top of the iliac crest.

Read more on hip pointer.

This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.

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