Synergy Health Partners

All About Contusions

Bruises are a type of bleeding underneath the skin. Colliding with, or falling can break capillaries (tiny blood vessels), which causes bleeding in the area of the injury under the skin.  That bleeding may cause the area to swell and/or turn a variety of different colors.


Subcutaneous contusion AND Muscle Contusions – What’s the difference?

Subcutaneous Contusion:

A subcutaneous contusion is a bruise just beneath the skin. This is the bruise that most everyone knows, as most have experienced a subcutaneous contusion at some point.

Just as a cut bleeds from tiny blood vessels, injuries to tiny blood vessels under the skin cause most subcutaneous contusions. Areas that a person may land on or use to support themselves during a fall, such as the hands and knees, are particularly vulnerable.



Sometimes, although rarely, a large bruise may cause massive bleeding from a vein or artery. This bleeding may be tricky to stop. This type of bleeding CAN be life threatening without treatment, so seek medical help if you experience this. This type of contusion will be large and very painful. Major trauma, such as a fall off a tree, roof, or serious car accident are often the cause of this.


Generally, unless you have a bleeding disorder, small bruise on a person’s knee or elbow will not cause them to bleed heavily.

Muscle contusion:

A person with a muscle contusion may think that they have a sprain, strain, or broken bone. A bruise to a muscle is deeper than a subcutaneous contusion, and it can be very painful.

Muscle contusions often heal without treatment. Sometimes, however, a large volume of blood will collect in the muscle. This can cause a painful swelling called a hematoma. Doctors may drain a hematoma to help the muscle heal more quickly.

As ALWAYS,  this time of year can bring very unexpected injuries. If you have non life threatening injury and need to be seen immediately, call our office for a

Same Day Urgent Appointment!


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