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What are the symptoms of a hematoma?

Hematomas cause irritation and inflammation. Symptoms depend upon their location and whether the size of the hematoma or the associated swelling and inflammation causes structures nearby to be affected. The common symptoms of inflammation include redness, pain, and swelling.

In general, superficial hematomas of skin, soft tissue, and muscle tend to resolve over time. The initial firm texture of the blood clot gradually becomes more spongy and soft as the clot is broken down by the body and the shape changes as the fluid drains away and the hematoma flattens. The color changes from that of a purplish-blue bruise to yellows and browns as the blood chemicals gradually are metabolized and the hematoma resolves. Depending upon its location, the discolorations may travel through different tissue planes by gravity. For example, a forehead hematoma may cause bruising beneath the eyes and seem to travel to the neck as it resolves over time.

Intracranial, epidural, subdural, and intracerebral hematomas often need neurosurgical intervention to stabilize the injury.

Return to Hematoma

See what others are saying

Comment from: dslam, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 29

I'm taking 5 mg Eliquis twice daily for atrial fibrillation. After suffering a minor bruise to my upper calf (did not break the skin) I developed a large painful hematoma. Over the next week my leg turned black to the bottom of my foot. Nothing including cold and hot other than time reduced the color or pain. After three weeks it is still visible.

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Comment from: Ga2615, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 13

Last week, while giving platelets at the Red Cross, the needle came partially out of the vein. It was out for some time before I felt a lot of pain. When it was checked, I had a large hematoma, about the size of a baseball by my elbow and the fluid had filled all the way up to my arm pit. I put heat on it the first day and elevated the arm. The second day I used a heat pad several times. Today it is still very sore and swollen and a dark purple from my bicep to my forearm.

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Comment from: TryingToHealQuickly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

I was attacked by two German shepherd mixes. One bit my elbow while I was raking in my elderly parents' yard. Huge bruising and now a lump (I presume hematoma) has formed. I was given tetanus, Augmentin and Motrin, and lorazepam for the shock of it. My arm stings from fang marks. No stitches, thank goodness. It feels like a pinched nerve sometimes because I have to type to do my job. I am trying ice. That soothes it.

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