Natural History of Bone Bruise

  • S. Kemal Aktuğlu
  • Kemal Kayaokay


Bone bruises represent an important cause of pain and loss of joint function. They represent histopathological lesions that can be detected by magnetic resonance imaging that depict hemorrhage, edema, and microtrabecular subchondral bone fractures. They can be observed using low signal intensity in T1-weighted sequences in fat-suppressed sequences or using high signal intensity in T2-weighted sequences. They may represent from traumatic or non-traumatic lesions with wide spectrum of distinctive features.

Traditionally, bone bruises are treated by limiting activities that increase joint symptoms. Lesions formed by low-energy trauma usually last for a shorter time than high-energy lesions. Bone bruises after high-energy trauma may present with a subchondral or intra-articular fracture pattern. Recovery from high-energy bone bruise lesions may take several months or even years. Larger bone bruises that involve subchondral bone are more likely to be associated with other osteochondral sequelae, including long-term osteoarthritis. Although more commonly observed among athletically active patients, bone bruises may occur in a wide variety of patients. There is no report on the most effective surgical treatment method for these lesions. Several surgical approaches exist. There is a need for prospective studies to investigate the efficacy of differing surgical approaches that treat bone bruise lesions. High-quality patient outcome studies that include sequential magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluation and return to sport and daily activity rates will help to better delineate surgical outcomes.


Bone bruise Bone marrow edema MRI Ankle trauma ACL 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Kemal Aktuğlu
    • 1
  • Kemal Kayaokay
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics and TraumatologyEge UniversityİzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedics and TraumatologySiverek State HospitalSanliurfaTurkey

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