Contusion Definition and Meaning

From the Latin contusio, according to, a contusion is a damage that occurs in some part of the body due to a blow that does not generate an external wound. It is a non-penetrating physical injury caused by the action of a hard object that acts on the body with considerable force.

For example: “A seventy-year-old woman suffered a contusion when a train formation derailed”, “The shock caused several contusions to the player from Club Atlético El Fomento”, “I have a contusion on my elbow because I fell on the shower”.

Contusions can have different severity according to the energy that has been applied to the body. Superficial contusions are known as ecchymosis, while injuries to the bones may be fractures (the loss of normal continuity of bone substance).

Among the symptoms of a contusion, there is an increase in volume at the site of the blow, the appearance of edema and pain. It should be noted that, as the bruise does not alter the integrity of the skin, it does not affect the epidermis. The skin, on the other hand, can change color due to spilled blood.

Mild bruises do not require further treatment. Specialists recommend applying cold compresses or ice to the area of the blow to reduce inflammation. If the contusion is moderate, the affected part can be elevated to facilitate circulation. In the case of severe contusions, which can even affect solid organs, it is best to consult a doctor.

Brain contusion

Cerebral contusion is a trauma that affects the brain tissue and that can be related to multiple microhemorrhages, that is, with the loss of blood through tiny vessels. This type of damage usually appears after serious head injuries in approximately 25% of cases. One of its consequences is the loss of functionality of the mind for an indefinite time; Likewise, it is the starting point of brain herniation (compression of certain parts of the skull, often fatal).

Among the most common symptoms of a contusion of this type we can mention: drowsiness, cognitive difficulties, amnesia, lack of coordination of movements and aphasia. It is worth mentioning that this largely depends on the location of the lesion; the basal ganglia, areas near the third ventricle, the upper end of the trunk, and the junction between white and gray matter are the most commonly affected sites.

Concussions are usually caused by blows; in these cases, the brain injury occurs just below the area of the collision. It is important to note that they collaborate with the increase in intracranial pressure, which can result in the most delicate tissues being literally crushed. For this reason, treatment should focus first on preventing inflammation from occurring.

Such an increase in pressure represents a considerable danger to a person. Some practices to control swelling include preventing blood pressure from falling (hypotension), sodium deficiency (hyponatremia), and carbon dioxide loss from the blood (hypocapnia). In certain cases, doctors often resort to surgery to reduce the pressure. In addition, many patients require extensive and very frequent monitoring during their recovery.

Boxers are very prone to these traumas, and not all of them manage to recover; In 2011, Roman Simakov, a 27-year-old Russian-born man, died after suffering a concussion caused by severe head injuries. Although this particular case aroused great controversy due to suspicions of a plot, it is a brutal sport, which can leave irreparable consequences on its practitioners.


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