Hand bruise symptoms, causes, complications and treatment

A bruised arm is a common problem in trauma practice. With serious injuries, the problem can lead to complications, so experts advise not to postpone the visit to the medical facility. Diagnostic examination will help to rule out fractures and reveal the level of soft tissue damage.

General information

Closed injuries of soft tissues, provoked by strokes, falls, lead to bruised hands. The pathological condition is characterized by damage to muscle, joint, bone tissue, with the formation of subcutaneous hemorrhage.

Experts identify several options for injuries at their location:

  1. In the area of ​​the hand and fingers – are less common than other subspecies, are accompanied by subluxation, fracture. During the fall, the main pressure falls on the area of ​​the palm, the fingers are damaged during compression, shock.
  2. In the area of ​​the wrist, forearm – traumatization provokes hemorrhage, hematomas. Violation of the integrity of blood vessels leads to a change in skin tone to purple, tumor of the damaged area.
  3. In the elbow joint, the pathology is serious, with limited mobility in the problem area. More serious violations lead to dislocations, subluxations.
  4. In the shoulder area – provoked by a direct effect, leads to a decrease in free movement, a strong pain syndrome.


The main symptom of a bruised arm is the formation of a hematoma. With heavy hemorrhage, the skin becomes inky color, a hematoma occurs after some time. The next symptom is swelling of the damaged area, swelling of the tissues is combined with painful sensations.

Severe pain syndrome is observed with a bruised arm in the elbow area. At the local level, the temperature level rises, there is a limitation of free movements. The key symptomatic manifestations of pathology are:

  1. Sensitivity problems – paresthesia with a bruised arm forms as a response to nerve damage. The loss of sensitivity is partial or absolute, in case of an injury to the ulnar fossa, the violation captures the entire area below the elbow.
  2. Lability disorders – appear in some cases with a bruised arm. Compression of the flexion of the fingers is impossible when they are damaged, with damage to the radius of the radius causes problems with movements, turns. Difficulties in free lifting, abduction of the arms are often caused by shoulder injuries.
  3. Swelling of the tissues – a bruised hand leads to swelling, tension of the skin, a change in its color to a bluish tint. These symptoms report impaired intercellular connections, capillary ruptures.

There are no differences between injuries of the right and left limbs, the main problem of injuries is that therapy, the recovery period takes longer with a bruised lead arm.


Injury of soft structures is formed in response to falls, bruised hands, sports training, accidents. Lesions in the form of compression cause compression damage, with torn ligaments, fractures.


During a fall, bumps accompanied by a bruise of the arm, it is necessary to visit the local clinic to identify the degree of damage to the structures of the upper limb.

The doctor will conduct an initial medical history: he will ask about the time of onset of symptoms, conduct a visual examination and palpation examination. To confirm or refute fractures, ruptures, the patient is sent for individual examinations:

  • Radiographs – will help determine the location of the greatest damage, identify a bone fracture.
  • Ultrasound – an ultrasound scan is performed to assess the state of soft structures, determine the location and area of ​​hematomas, impaired integrity of tendons, muscle tissue.
  • CT – computed tomography is prescribed during the questionable results of fluoroscopy, remaining questions about bone structures. Manipulation is carried out throughout the forearm.
  • MRI – magnetic resonance imaging with a bruised arm is rarely prescribed. The procedure allows you to determine small violations of the integrity of the tendons, latent hemorrhage.

After receiving all the examination data, the final diagnosis is made and the treatment regimen is selected.


Therapeutic manipulations begin with first aid to the victim with a bruised arm. The following algorithm of actions must be observed:

  • a heating pad with ice is applied to the affected area – for no more than 10 minutes, in order to avoid a cold burn, the procedure will reduce pain and swelling;
  • wounds on the skin are cleaned with antiseptic solutions: hydrogen peroxide, Miramistin;
  • with an elastic bandage, the upper limb is fixed in a stationary state;
  • pain is suppressed by taking painkillers: Analgin, Pentalgin, Baralgin, Spazmalgon, Tempalgin.

To accelerate the treatment of bruised hands, suppress swelling of tissues, pain, it is recommended to apply ointment, gel with an anti-inflammatory, analgesic spectrum of action to the affected area. Therapy is carried out by Diclofenac, Gevkamen.

It is forbidden to apply preparations with a warming effect several hours after a bruised hand – Apizatron, Virapin, Finalgon, Savior Forte, and the use of warming compresses. Their use is allowed after 1-2 days, for resorption of the formed hematomas, after reducing swelling, pain. After two days, warm compresses are allowed that warm local preparations. To accelerate the disappearance of bruises, problem areas are covered by Indovazin, Troxevasin, Badiaga, Bruise-off.

If a child has a bruised hand, then it must be shown to the attending physician in the first hours of injury. Diagnostic tests will help to eliminate the likelihood of rupture, sprain, fractures. Ignoring the recommendation can lead to improper fusion of bone structures, the formation of severe scars in the tendon area.

Probable complications

With bruised hands, in addition to damage to soft structures, the following pathologies can occur:

  • fracture, hemorrhage;
  • tendon ruptures;
  • violation of the integrity of the walls of large blood vessels;
  • blood clots, purulent processes in places of blood accumulation.

Damage to the bloodstream with a violation of the integrity of their walls provokes the formation of blood clots, tissue necrosis can result in a problem. Scratches, abrasions, small cuts can lead to the penetration of pathogenic microflora.

Common mistakes

Patients confuse a bruised arm with a fracture, although each pathology has its own symptomatic features. With a fracture at the time of the injury, severe pain is observed – it also occurs when attempts to move a broken upper limb. Patients cannot lean on their hands, bend their fingers.

Marked swelling, extensive hematoma, which increase, but not decrease a few hours after the incident, are noted. In a fracture, the limb may not move at all, it is in an unnatural position, and a non-standard bulge is determined at the site of damage. These features relate to fractures, with a bruised arm, there is no growing symptomatology.

Traumatologists recall that a worsening of the condition can trigger the following actions:

  • warming up the injured area immediately after a hand bruise – an increase in temperature will lead to an influx of blood into the tissue, an increase in the volume of swelling;
  • massage or rubbing of the upper limb – actions will lead to an increase in bruising, and in case of fractures, fragments of bone tissue will violate the integrity of nerves and blood vessels;
  • constant attempts to move the injured hand – will lead to increased pain;
  • pressure on bruises, opening a hematoma.


Prevention of a bruise in the hand implies increased caution with sleet, sports training, and avoidance of household injuries. At the heart of prevention is the prevention of consequences and complications.

Proper nutrition with a sufficient amount of nutrients will strengthen the bones, normalize the work of protective mechanisms. Dairy and sour-milk products, fresh fruits, vegetables, greens are introduced into the main diet. Periodic training, as far as the body’s strengths and capabilities, will allow you to strengthen muscle tissue – to protect the body from falls, bruises.

Normal elasticity of the skin, a stable process of blood circulation allows hematomas to resolve faster. The normal functionality of internal systems reduces the severity of accidental injuries.

A bruised arm is a common pathology that requires careful attention. If on the third day the condition does not change, but deterioration is observed, then it is better not to postpone the visit to the doctor. There is a likelihood of a fracture, a crack in the bones, which requires professional help from traumatologists.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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