Bones are composed of a network of fibers that help retain calcium, a mineral in the body that keeps bones healthy and strong. If a bone is damaged, a small number of these tiny fibers can break apart, resulting in a deep bone bruise. This condition, which is also called a periosteal bruise, occurs when the outer layer of a bone, called the cortex, sustains small breaks following injury or trauma. Patients who develop deep bone bruise symptoms should contact a doctor immediately to ensure that the affected bone is not fractured.
The most common symptom of a deep bone bruise is pain localized to the injured body region. Unlike superficial skin bruises, deep bone bruises can cause symptoms of severe pain for up to several months, according to MedlinePlus, an online medical resource established by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. These painful symptoms can make it difficult for patients to use the damaged body region. Patients will need to avoid strenuous physical activities as specified by a doctor to allow the deep bone bruise to heal completely. Severe pain symptoms should not be ignored and affected patients should contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
When a bone is bruised during injury, the muscles and tissues that surround the affected bone are often also damaged. Tissue damage caused by a deep bone bruise can lead to extensive swelling. The skin around the injured bone can appear enlarged or puffy and may be tender to the touch. Blood can accumulate beneath the skin and may exacerbate symptoms of swelling in certain patients with a deep bone bruise, explains Insall Scott Kelly Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in New York City. Symptoms of swelling can persist for several weeks and may be alleviated by applying ice to the affected body region.
Patients who sustain a bone bruise can develop extensive skin discoloration as a symptom of this injury. Initially, the skin surrounding the site of injury can appear red or inflamed. Within a day or two of injury, the damaged skin may appear unusually blue or purple due to pooled blood beneath the skin. As the deep bone bruise begins to heal, the injured skin can appear green or yellow in color, notes MedlinePlus. These skin discoloration symptoms of a deep bone bruise are temporary but can persist for several weeks or months. When the deep bone bruise heals, the skin will regain its normal coloring.