Contusions refer to the muscle strain that is caused over a direct blow to the affected limb. This causes tearing of some muscle fibres and leads to swelling and commonly, bruising. The individual will experience immediate pain and may be limited from participating in normal daily activities. Depending on the grade of injury, the symptom may range to pain with movement or severe disabling pain.
Examination will aim to evaluate the extent of damage through multiple testing techniques. Pain will be elicited with resisted movements as well as palpation. There may be inability to walk without a limp and difficulty climbing stairs. Swelling and discolouration are common presentations in this injury.
The management of contusions is conservative and includes rest and ice to minimize pain and enhance rehabilitation. This is followed with a gradual re-introduction to sporting activities when symptom free. Complete rehabilitation may range from 6-12 weeks before returning to full sporting activity.