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Understanding Hematoma

Doctor consulting patient

A hematoma is a pocket of blood inside the body of a person caused by a hemorrhage. A hematoma is
caused by a traumatic injury to your skin or the tissues under your skin. Injury to blood vessels under
your skin can lead to the formation of blood pools. A hematoma will form as the blood clots and lead to
pain and swelling. Hematoma can happen anywhere in your body, including your leg. Experts in our low
income health clinic share some details that you should know about hematoma in the legs.

Hematoma In Legs – Causes

Hematoma in legs can happen due to injuries such as a blow to your leg from an encounter with a blunt
object or a fall. Some leg surgeries can also lead to hematoma. Also, your chances of hematoma can
increase if you are taking medicines that can thin your blood, like Apixaban, Clopidogrel, Aspirin,
Warfarin, Rivaroxaban, etc. In addition, viral infections like HIV, parvovirus and Hepatitis C can increase
your potential for hematoma.

Hematoma In Legs – Symptoms

The main symptoms of leg hematoma are:
 Discoloration due to blood under your skin
 Pain
 Swelling

The extent of swelling and discoloration usually denotes the severity of the injury. Experts in low income
health clinics say that fracturing your thigh bone can be associated with a significant amount of bleeding
that can lead to a large hematoma.

Hematoma In Legs – Treatment

Usually, hematomas will clear on their own. As the accumulated blood is absorbed, the hematoma will
get smaller slowly. In the case of a large hematoma, it can take months for the hematoma to be fully
absorbed. Legs hematomas can be usually treated with:

 Ice pack application or cold compress application for about half an hour for forty-eight hours
after the injury. This can help reduce swelling in the area.
 Elevating the leg with the hematoma higher than your heart.
 Rest
 Providing light compression with a bandage.
 Taking pain medication like Acetaminophen.
 Applying heat to the area three times daily for forty-eight hours after the injury to improve
blood flow.

While treating hematoma at home, do not take ibuprofen or aspirin, as these OTC medications can slow
down the process of blood clotting. If the hematoma is present over your shinbone, your doctor may
recommend surgery to get rid of the same. Also, if you have a large hematoma that does not go away
for many days after the injury, your healthcare provider may suggest that it be drained.