Knee recovery time for a knee contusion can take a few days or several weeks depending on the severity of the injury and how it responds to rehabilitation.
A knee contusion is caused from a direct impact or fall on the knee. This results in the capillaries or small blood vessels bleeding into the tissues, muscle and tendons of the knee.
Skin abrasions, swelling, bruising, hematoma, tightness of knee joint and tenderness are commonly seen in these injuries.
Here we will discuss knee recovery time for knee contusions at home and in a physical therapy office.
With mild knee contusions implementing the R.I.C.E. procedures at home for a few days should result in relief of symptoms. For review, R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.(1) Resting the knee joint by avoiding sports or activities that put stress on the injured area.(2) Ice applications applied several times a day for approximately 20 minutes with support under the knee (3) An elastic bandage will provide support and will assist in reducing swelling and (4) Elevate and support the knee above the heart to diminish swelling and drain excess fluid from the region. Knee recovery time for mild knee contusions averages just about a week.
With severe knee contusions physical therapy or sports injury treatment may be required. The physical therapist will start immediately with mild stretching of the quadriceps, hamstrings, adductor, and calf musculature to regain flexibility. Massage is is popular with these type of injuries to improve blood circulation, break down scar tissue and create ease of mobility. Sports taping is often utilized for compression, reduce edema and protect the injured region.
Many sports therapists will use electrical stimulation, ultrasound and cold laser to reduce the tenderness, sensitivity, relax the musculature, accelerate healing and decrease scar tissue formation. As with all injuries once the acute phase has subsided strengthening exercises should be started. The physical therapist will introduce the patient to proper technique on the stationary bike, treadmill, ellipticals, steppers and knee strengthening apparatus.
The patient will also be instructed to continue strengthening at home with velcro weights to be performed on a daily basis. Knee recovery time with severe bone contusion and proper care usually takes several weeks.
The goals of treatment for a bone contusion is to get the patient back to normal activity as soon as possible. If the patient returns too soon it may worsen the injury. The general guidelines are (1) the involved knee can fully extend and bend without pain (2) the injured knee and leg have regained normal strength and (3) the patient can walk, bend squat without pain.
Most knee contusions are not serious because it is external of the knee joint. Any severe impact of the knee resulting in severe pain, difficulty moving the knee and gait deviation should be examined by an orthopedic specialist to rule out other knee problems such as fractured patella.
The patient must be aware that knee recovery time is directly related to the severity of the injury, previous knee injuries and patients age.