Contusions, Cork & Myositis Ossificans

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Contusions/cork occur when a direct blow or repeated blows from a blunt object strike part of the body, crushing underlying muscle fibers and connective tissue without breaking the skin. Bruising and swelling of the muscle will tend to develop after the trauma, due to the damage of the muscle fibres and blood vessels within the muscle. A contusion can result from falling or jamming the body against a hard surface but most commonly occurs in the quadriceps muscle from a collision with another player in sport.

Myositis Ossificans is the term used to describe the formation of bone within a muscle. The formation of small bony fragments is believed to be due to the migration of bone cells into the muscle during the initial contusion injury which over time calcifies. Myositis Ossificans can develop if a contusion is left untreated or re-bleeding occurs during the recovery stage. Re-bleeding can occur from over vigorous stretching or massage and returning to activity too early.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Pain at the point of impact.
  • Contusion pain gradually gets worse after activity as swelling increases.
  • Commonly produces muscle tightening, weakness and spasm around the muscle contusion.
  • In severe cases, unable to weight bear or walk without a limp.