What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dealing With Bruises

I had a mishap last Friday night that resulted in third degree bruising.  This means the bruising was extensive enough to inhibit mobility due to the degree of swelling and pain.  We went to a fish fry with friends then when getting into their truck for the return trip the high winds caught the door slamming it into my leg.  The end result was what looked very much like a second knee over my tibia about 3 - inches down from my actual knee.  By the time we got to their house and realizing the damage we started icing immediately.  As the swelling continued and fearing a broken bone I went for x-rays that found no obvious broken bones but a possible hairline fracture hidden by the swelling.  By this time the swelling was horrendous.  I went home to deal with the situation hoping the swelling would go down and there wasn't a hairline fracture.

When it comes to dealing with severe bruising the rule to remember is R I C E R.  That stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation and rehabilitation.

  • rest - It is imperative with this type of injury to rest the injured  part.  Keep it as still as possible with no pressure or using it for 72 hours.  Immobilize the part via splits if necessary to prevent any movement.
  • ice - Icing is necessary to stop the internal bleeding and reduce swelling.  The recommendation is 20 minutes of icing every 2 hours.
  • compression - Compression works initially to help stop the internal bleeding via pressure.  Once the bleeding has been stopped, compression helps to support the injured tissue as it heals.  The best way to apply compression is using a tension bandage to apply compression for the first few days following the injury.  Use a tension bandage after day 4 of the injury during movement to help support the injured area.
  • elevation - The injured body part should be elevated for 72 hours following the injury to reduce internal bleeding. 
  • rehabilitation - After the 72 hour period has lapsed, it is important to start trying slowly to use the injured part.  From experience a torn hamstring will take over 6 weeks to heal to the point of no pain under normal usage.  Start very slow and in many cases it will take a couple of weeks or more to regain full function.  During the rehabilitation period it is important to take things slow, rest and ice if you notice an swelling or pain.  Do not try to work through either as that will cause more damage.  Realize that it is going to take time and the injured part is going to be weak.  If at any time you feel pain or see swelling back off using the injured part.  A TENS unit can be used to help with the healing process if desired but check with physio first.

Garden Gnome