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  1. #1
    endorphin addict
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    Deep Thigh Bruise, ouch

    I didn't realize a deep thigh bruise could be such a substantial injury, until going OTB hard
    in a rock garden a couple weeks ago. I was able to ride the last 7 miles home and figured in a couple weeks I'd be back in the saddle, wrong.

    2 weeks later I am just getting over my limp, and can walk pretty good for short distances on flat ground. When I bend my knee approaching a 90 degree angle, the large knotted charlie horse in my upper thigh complains intensely. I notice my lower leg and knee, which were not impacted in the fall, are now really sore -- maybe from my quad knotting up and/or the internal bleeding pooling down there since color is now showing down low.

    The swelling is mostly gone now. I've tried stretching, but it just seems to make it worse. I've been doing some moist heat, massage, arnica, and ice for some relief. This could take a few more weeks anyway. I finally decided to make it into the doc this week and see about getting some pt lined up cause I think I'm gonna need it. Apparently there is some danger in calcium deposits forming from the pooled blood in the damaged muscle and starting to grow a bone fragment inside the quad muscle if not treated properly, which sounds pretty f**cked up to me.

    Note to self: do not slam thigh forcefully on rock.

    Still it could have been much worse. Anyone else have experience with a severe thigh bruise like this?

  2. #2
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    I haven't had one that bad, but just a while back I was bombing down a section of trail and clipped my handlebars on the tree. It made me lose control and I went down hard. I'm still not sure what exactly hit my thigh, but by the time I made it the rest of the way down, I had several knots on my leg. It turned several different colors and is still somewhat sore a month later.

  3. #3
    endorphin addict
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    Three weeks into this now and notice that my range of motion has decreased over the past week or so. I can only bend the knee about 80 to 90 degress now. Eventhough the impact was limited to my upper thigh, I have pain in my calf, knee (swollen), hip, and lower back. I finally made it to the doc today and will start PT next week, he says it could take several more weeks to recover fully based on where I'm at now. I'm still amazed at the amount of damage on this.

    On the way back from the Dr. office I tweaked my leg past it's current range of motion getting into my truck and the pain went through the roof -- comparable with the original injury. I yelled really loud in the parking lot and got some conerned looks. Stopped and picked up my pain meds and washed them down with a big can of foster's not feeling too bad at the moment.

    Note to self: don't smash thigh on rock again

  4. #4
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    Wow! I am going through the same thing right now. Your description is EXACTLY the same as mine. It will be two weeks tommorrow that I did mine. I too was playing in a rock garden and went over the bars head first. The bike landed before me. When I came down the inside of my thigh landed hard on the end of the perfectly vertical handle bar. The other end of the bar was on the ground so there was no give or movement at all in the bar when my leg hit it. I was in agony for ten minutes or so before it started to numb up. I quickly figured the femur was not broken but I was worried about serious internal bleeding since the impact was directly over the femoral artery. I too then rode out ("only") about three miles. By the time I got home the swelling was considerable. I limped around for a few days before going to the doc. Here is a pic taken one week later.
    Otis 3-9-08 (short vid) (post 9) The point of impact was the center of the yellow bruising on the left.
    The colors you see there are only the superficial bruising and have now essentially disappeared. But there still is a large mass of clotting fluid under the muscle the has not reduced at all. My leg flexibility is, like yours, only about 90 degrees, although I think it has been getting marginally better in the last 48 hours. The knee and lower leg are also going through various levels of discomfort, probably from limping as much as migrating fluid. I have another appointment with an orthopedic surgon in two weeks to check on it and figure out some sort of PT to avoid the problems you mentioned. I figure this is all of the soft tissue injury of a broken femur without the actual broken femur. Keep me posted as to how yours recovers. Good luck.

  5. #5
    endorphin addict
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    Ah, someone to commiserate with. I'm sorry. Mine looked similar to your pics except on the outside. I just put an herbal compress on it, the "Chi Recovery Wrap" I found on the net, trying to get the residual swellling in the knee down. I'll post the result. BTW be careful not to do what I did yesterday and accidently move your knee beyond it's current range of motion -- it's very sore today.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushPilot
    BTW be careful not to do what I did yesterday and accidently move your knee beyond it's current range of motion -- it's very sore today.
    I've gotten close once or twice, I know what you mean. What I am really worried about is what I usually do when recovering from an injury- it'll start to feel better and I'll get stupid and jump on it way too hard.

  7. #7
    endorphin addict
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    4 week update

    So 4 weeks into this now. I have about 95 to 100 degrees of motion now with the knee. Still a big knot in my upper thigh and pain above the knee. I've been puzzled about the knee pain, since I didn't impact my knee in the crash. My chiro explained that on impact when my quad contracted so hard it probably violently tugged the tendons that hook into the top of my knee cap and caused some tissue damage there too.

    The setback I had last week probably put me back several days. I went and joined 24 hour fitness today, just so that I could soak in their spa and stretch after, well worth it. Range of motion gradually improving. I was able to use the eliptical trainer for about five minutes, before the leg started complaining. Suprising how week my quad is right now.

    I've had three pt sessions with my chiropractor so far with electro stim, ultra sound, and Active Release Therapy. It's really helping to get the blood moving in my leg again. It hurts so good. The day after my last session was painful, but now moving a little better.

    It's probably going to take a few more weeks to get my ROM back, and a little longer to build my quad strength back up. I never thought a bruise could be this debilitating.

    note to self: ....

  8. #8
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    I'm glad to hear you are improving somewhat. I am actually getting better, rather quickly in the last 4 or 5 days or so. I would say I have 75% of my ROM back. The large amount of general swelling has mostly gone away in that time. In fact, last Thursday my lower leg (which had been normal) all of a sudden balloned up like a stovepipe with fluid that decided to drain from my thigh. This occured in about 8 hours during the day at work. When I looked at my leg that night my ankle had mushroomed around the top of my sock. That all went away during the night.
    My knee also hurt quite badly. Your doc's explanation sounds good. I also think the general swelling in the thigh might contribute to knee pain, what with the pressure on the muscles and nerves in the area. Not to mention all the limping around. Last Friday I managed to walk "normally" up and down stairs. I still do not have enough ROM to pedal a bike, my knee simply won't bend enough to pedal around in a circle. My thigh muscles are also very weak, barely able to push me up a step, though getting stronger. I envy all the PT you are getting, my doc is not interested at all in sending me to PT. He "promises" that it is going to heal completely. I did get him to send me to an orthopedic doc next week, maybe I can get him to send me for PT. I'll keep you posted, good luck.

  9. #9
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    Hey Ghost, glad you're getting better. Wow your thigh draining storey is kind of gnarly, glad it cleared up quick. Yeah, I guess just the fluid building around the knee is enough to make it hurt.

    Hey I made my first trip up and down stairs today without holding the hand rail -- but definitely in handicap form. Yesterday I gave the eliptical trainer at the gym a try for about 5 minutes til it got too much. I think I'll try and work my way up on that one, since you don't have to bend the knee that much. I tried to do some leg extensions on a machine with no weight on the stack, and still had to use my hand to help out. Yeah, weak.

    You should try a soak in a hot jacuzzi working the jets over your leg, my stiffness and range of motion improved markedly after a 20 min soak and stretching.

    My primary doctor has his head up his a$$ too, "managed care". I'm paying my chiro out of pocket for the therapy, but not sure how much longer I can keep that up.

    Let me know when you get back on the bike, sounds like it won't be long.

  10. #10
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    Wow five weeks in now and the past week my leg has markedly improved. I was able to do a 5 mile hike in the woods today, and felt really good. Still not back on the bike yet tho. My ROM is probably at about 65%, but getting a little better everyday. I've been soaking it, stretching and light weights nearly every day the past week has made a big difference IMO. It's sore from the daily activity, but blood is flowing, the knot is shrinking, things are happening and on the right track. Gonna do a longer hike next weekend and try getting on the training cycle at the gym soon. My depression is starting to lift...

  11. #11
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    Excellet news! My recovery is similar. I think I have virtually all of my ROM back, and the injury site is sore only near maximum flexion (heel near butt). I am walking without a limp, including stairs. I got on my my for the first time yesterday and rode around the yard. Everything felt ok except the muscles are rather weak, but that will come around. I am going to try a short (~45 min) on flat fire roads today. I still have a nice ping pong sized ball deep under the muscle at the injury site. Good luck.

  12. #12
    endorphin addict
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    Good deal. Hopefully I'll be right behind you on the bike.

  13. #13
    Bushwhacker
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    I went over the bars a couple years ago and landed on a rock too. Left a mouse sized hematoma in my quad, It took about 2 months before I could really ride again and about a year before the lump was gone. I later read that you should go to the doctor's and have them drain it to avoid complications. I guess you could wind up like House.

    Ride on!
    JD

  14. #14
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    I can relate...blue and green pics

    I went over hard Monday onto a 1x6 survey marker. Thanks to whoever drove this in and left it on the trail

    Tuesday, 5-6 pic
    Attachment 359234

    Friday 5-9 pic
    Attachment 359235

    I can climb steps without a cane, but I still cant ride.
    Last edited by Roswell52; 05-22-2008 at 06:19 AM.
    sign here ________________________

  15. #15
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    I was playing in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament years ago

    and a guy kneed me on the outside of my thigh really hard, right into my femur. That pain and swelling lasted months. I read that a deep thigh bruise is nothing to mess with, get another one on the same spot and you've got lifetime problems.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  16. #16
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    a deep blow to the quad or the bicep can lead to myositis ossificans, which is when the contusion accumulates calcium. Your body actually grows bone in the muscle. The thing that sucks most; massage and stretching makes it worse. So many people stretch and massage the area (like it makes sense to) and the calcium just accumulates faster.

  17. #17
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    I slammed by thigh into a sharp rock about three weeks ago. Got some tips from Bush via a PM on what to do, but like he said its a loooooooooooonnnnnngggggggggg slow recovery. I got a prescription for some pyhsical therapy and have had 4 sessions so far.

    At the end of week three I can walk down steps w/o holding the handrail and pedal the stationary bike if the seat is high enough. Ice works good, the jacuzzi works good and definately some PT.

    I did not get much bruising cause it was a sharp rock and small but deep bruise. I rode out of the woods for 3miles after the crash.

    I'm hoping to be able to ride in the woods by week 5 and have 100% ROM. Been using a stretch out strap by DKSA and that has really helped.

    It's a tough injury, I would recommend you see a orthopedic, get some anti-inflammatory pills and go to PT ASAP.

  18. #18
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    Thigh Contusion question

    about two weeks ago I got knee'd in the side/front of my thigh, about 2/3 up between my knee and groin. What's odd is that pain has intensified since the first couple of days, and traveled from the point of impact to encompass basically the whole length of the front of my thigh. Have those of you who received a thigh contusion experienced this? Maybe it's because I never rested it? By the way, mine never bruised (color wise).

    Thanks!

  19. #19
    Mark
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    I crashed into a branch about 1" diameter that was trimmed at a 45 degree angle about 3" form the ground. Ended up with what y'all describe mostly here.

    Iced it about 4 hours after the incident.
    Wrapped an ACE bandage tightly for the next 48 hours.
    Stretched as much as I could stand.
    Rode a 2 hour ride the day after.
    I contacted my massage therapist and about 4 days after sucked it up while he sent about 90 mins working into the center of the bruise.

    3 days later I was back on the bike.

    Maybe mine wasn't as bad as yours...
    ===============

    Mark

  20. #20
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    "thigh bruise" Rehab

    I see these periodically here in Colorado. This "bruise" is much more than a bruise, it's a big fat hematoma- you can easily store about a quart of blood in your thigh and not realize it!

    The treatment is pretty much what Hoovermd recounted:
    1. wrap with an ace as soon as you can (helps slow an bleeding into the muscle and reduce swelling)
    2. lots of ice (helps slow an bleeding into the muscle and reduce swelling)
    3. Tylenol for pain (not aspirin or ibuprofen which can exacerbate bleeding into the muscle)
    4. Stretch your thigh by putting it as far into flexion (bending) as you can stand as soon as you can
    5. Physical therapy and or massage as soon as you can

    google "thigh hematoma" and you can find more if you are interested

  21. #21
    Vegan Athlete
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    This happened to me almost two weeks ago. Same story, rock garden, over the bars, etc.

    I came hope, iced it and had a beer.

    The next day I forced myself to ride my singlespeed to work, it hurt like hell but I noticed after about 15 minutes I had better ROM and less pain. Second and third day, same thing and I started applying arnica to it. Fourth day I went out for a 40 mile mountain bike ride (geared bike), 5 1/2 hours.

    Picture was taken on 4th day.

    Sixth day I went out for 2 1/2 hours, 1 1/2 hours of intervals (geared bike) and all was well. That night I started getting pain again in the bruised area. Since then whenever I change positions, sit, stand, move my leg while laying down, etc. I get the pain again. I believe it's because fluid is moving around. The bruise is going down, getting smaller. It's hard and very itchy (weird!).

    After those first couple days on the singlespeed I havn't had any trouble riding. I've done one race with it like this and another big race tomorrow.

    I'm hoping I don't develop any scar tissue.
    Take a look at and consider "liking" my Vegan Athlete Facebook page.

  22. #22
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    If you were able to ride that soon you're lucky...

    My leg swelled up like an overstuffed sausage within a few hours and was off the bike for 6 weeks. I recovered fully though over a year later my leg still aches sometimes after a ride and still has some lumpy scar tissue in my quad. You're smart to keep it moving. Deep massage might help break down the scar tissue, though I had limited success there. Good luck. --Tim

  23. #23
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    Dont mind the local trail names, I copied this post from my local board.

    A week ago I went for an easy ride in RP.
    I started in the west 25a lot as usual, hit Mogul 2 and campsite, but skipped log jam.
    On the fire road width trail to skip this diamond I rolled over a small downed tree.
    It was maybe 2" thick and considered it to be safe to ride over.

    Wrong.

    Somehow this tree, a big branch really, got jammed into my front gears instantly stopping my bike.
    I on the other hand endo'd and went down hard. I landed on my right hip and elbow, but more on my hip.
    This was the beginning of my ride, so I caught my breath (the impact knocked it from me), brushed the dirt and blood off myself, and continued to ride.

    I knew I was hurt by the time I rode Fern Valley. I was holding back, riding hesitantly.
    I kept riding.
    After riding most of the main loop after Fern Valley I finished up and headed back to the lot.
    When I dismounted I noticed how sore I really was.
    I had trouble walking for the next 3 days.
    On day three a very dark plum colored hematoma about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
    It was spotty, and kinda funny shaped.
    Also my hip swelled about 3 inches straight out laterally.
    No real loss of R.O.M. but its been numb and the bruise is growing.
    I think that the blood is moving by means of gravity, ergo the longer bruise.

    Has anyone had experience with this type of injury.
    Is it safe to ride, a week later?

    First Pic is 3 days after fall. http://www.climbonline.org/cgi-bin/y...7712;start=1#1

  24. #24
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    This is from me hitting a rock the size of a small car. I went OTB right into it breaking my hands one needed surgery and my hip took a beating as well. The hip picture was the morning after and it got a lot bigger. I could not sit up or lay down with out a ton of pain. I have not been back on my DH bike since, I am going to wait for the 2010 season before I do DH again,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Deep Thigh Bruise, ouch-4313_81132156932_566276932_2286416_220374_n.jpg  

    Deep Thigh Bruise, ouch-8926_134612891932_566276932_3030400_3827322_n.jpg  

    Deep Thigh Bruise, ouch-15937_166103911932_566276932_3308036_8179521_n.jpg  


  25. #25
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    That looks very painful.
    Interestingly enough, I re-injured my right hip on a nonsense fall.
    Once that hematoma is in there I guess any contact will make it swell up like a saddle bag.
    The swelling was 99% gone and now I am starting over. Already took a 1 week break, but Im riding tomorrow.

    Lets all hope that we dont get too injured out there, doing what we love to do.

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