A contusion, more commonly known as a bruise, is caused when blood vessels or capillaries get injured, causing blood to collect outside of a blood vessel in the surrounding area. Contusions can happen to the skin or bones.
When contusions happen to the skin or muscle tissue, they are called soft tissue contusions. They typically discolor the skin, feel painful, and may look like a visible bump. Through treatments such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation, they may heal within days to weeks.
Contusions on the bone are typically caused by falls, accidents, or sports injuries. They often require imaging scans like X-rays, ultrasounds, computerized tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) to diagnose and may take months to heal.