Calcified hematoma: What is it, How to treat it

A calcified hematoma is a nonhereditary form of heterotopic or myositis ossification (also known as osteogenesis, a form of bone remodelling) is a type of physical change of deep bruises.

It mostly takes place when people sustain deep bruises along with bleeding because of any forceful, blunt trauma such as getting kicked or having a car accident. Such injury can happen in the connect tissues surrounding the bone or to the muscles. It is scary to imagine a deep wound or bruise followed by a bony structure inside.

Identifying calcified bruises that may result in hematomas:

calcified hematoma
Calcified hematoma
Image source: Medicinenet.com

A bruise results from a collection of blood in a specific area because of injury. The condition usually happens when the injury makes the blood vessels of the area to wind up after getting damaged. This results in the formation of blood extravasations that ultimately lead to a hematoma (bleeding inside the muscles).

The hematoma generally gets resolved in normal circumstances when the extravagated blood gets absorbed. However, in some instances, salt deposition (Calcium) may take place in the hematoma forming a calcified bruise.

This development is known as calcified hematoma or myositis ossificans (development of bony growth within a hematoma). Technically, it can be regarded as a bony growth inside muscles.

Although there are many theories suggested by scientists and doctors, the actual reason and cause of the formation of calcified hematoma is still not clear. It is believed that sometimes our body triggers the formation of some bony growth when bleeding takes place inside the muscles.

Therefore, if you find bony formation inside a big bruise, it may be due to calcified hematoma or myositis ossificans. Such bony growth can also happen due to a tumor. But if an injury follows it with a big bruise, then you may rule out the chance of a tumor.

Whatever the case, a calcified hematoma cannot be self-treated, and you need to see your physician and get X-rays done to ensure it is not a tumor but extra bone growth. Calcified hematoma and tendonitis are not similar and have different progressive dynamics. But, calcified hematoma has many adverse effects that may irritate and aggravate the dynamics of tendonitis.

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How calcification takes place inside a bruise:

Hematoma which is commonly known as a bruise usually happens after an injury that results in the damage of the blood vessels. Such damage at the site of the injury usually calls for internal bleeding which in turn leads in fluid or blood accumulation at the interstitial spaces (known as extravasations of blood).

Depending on the amount of internal bleeding and the extent of damage to the tissues hematoma can be very painful or cause moderate discomfort.

Our body has an internal mechanism to heal the bruise by absorbing this accumulated fluid in the interstitial space. In normal circumstances, bruises get healed by this mechanism. Some people suffer from calcinosis, a condition where calcium phosphate get accumulated and clumped in various tissues of their body.

There are different forms of calcinosis, but the dystrophic calcification is the most common form characterized by the calcium deposition and accumulation in areas where soft tissues got damaged or injured.

How to treat a calcified hematoma:

Internal bleeding usually takes place when damage to the blood vessels occurs through injury. Such process leads to the accumulation of fluid and blood in the interstitial space resulting in a bruise that may become very painful and cause discomfort depending on the internal bleeding level and severity of tissue damage.

Typically your body will deal with this situation with the help of internal systems that absorb the accumulated blood and fluid from the interstitial space. But with individuals having calcinosis deposition of calcium phosphate takes place within soft tissues of their body with dystrophic calcification being the most common one. This process is well established and lead to deposition of calcium in the injured and damaged soft tissues.

This process can be prevented through various processes. Such process has some adverse effects and prevents the bruises to get resolved quickly. You have to prevent the formation of Moonlight calcified tissue inside the damaged soft tissue (muscle tissue) to prevent calcified hematoma.

If there is no significant damage to the blood vessels or severe internal bleeding, then the bruises should heal quite quickly. Your body is well-equipped and act quickly to coagulate and stop blood loss.

So all you need to do after getting injured (if the injury is not severe) to apply a lot of ice (more is always better) on the damaged area (small and even big bruises) to prevent calcified hematoma.

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If the injury is anywhere in the lower parts of your limbs, then place them inside a bucket full of ice and cold water (keep them for 10 to 20 seconds at a time). Repeat the process for over 50 times per day.

For other parts of your body prepare a big ice pack that will cover the whole of your injured area. Keep the injured part in contact with an ice pack for 5 minutes and then give a break for 5 minutes.

Continue this circle as much as possible for the initial 4 to 5 days of the injury. The more effort you put in to follow this process the faster your bruise will heal. When the bruise goes away quickly the chances of calcified hematoma formation get reduced. However, do not expect a bruise to go away in a day or two.

Realistically you will start noticing the bruise minimizing only after two days of intense ice treatment. But, if you do not follow the ice treatment, then the bruise may take up a long time to heal and may develop into calcified hematoma (the formation of bony tissue inside muscles). Of course, it is not a wise idea.

You should always avoid the formation of calcified hematoma as it can cause many discomfort and pain in the future. Just think you are running and your muscle is contracting and relaxing around a bony chunk.

Surgical removal of such bony growth is possible, but it often reappears, and at the initial stage (the first 12 months) your physician will not consider removing it surgically. Therefore, it is better to prevent the formation of a calcified hematoma in the first place by minimizing swelling and bruising (the primary reason behind the development of calcified hematoma).

How to remove the calcified hematoma:

Sometimes your body reabsorbs the bony formation before it develops into a permanent tissue. If you work harder in getting the bruise healed quickly, then you can prevent the formation of a calcified hematoma in the first place.

Increased circulation can remove accumulated blood (causing the inflammation and swelling) out of the injured area much quicker than the natural process. Excess blood trapped within the soft tissue is a primary reason behind the development of calcified hematoma as such condition triggers your body towards the formation of bony growth (though the actual cause is unknown) and target them to the area where blood got accumulated.

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So if you can prevent prolonged accumulation of blood inside the tissue (in the injured area), there will be less chance of the development of a calcified hematoma.

Ice packs:

Apart from ice treatment, there are also other ways to prevent and remove a calcified hematoma that should be tried along with ice treatment. Application of ice packs also has to reduce the discomfort and pain arising from the bruise and calcium deposition. It helps to immobilize the injured area temporarily thereby fastening the healing process.

Reduce the intake of calcium:

As calcium is essential for bone growth, bring down the calcium content in your diet, to slow down the process of calcified hematoma. Do not take calcium supplements during this period.

Try to consume more water:

At the same time take more water as it will help to flush out the excess calcium and other salts from your body and prevent triggering the calcified hematoma.

Homeopathy treatment may help:

There are some remedies in homeopathy medicine for calcified hematoma, and you may consider them. They are indeed worth considering as many patients suffering from calcified hematoma got relieved after homeopathy treatment.

But do not try to self-medicate and consult an experienced homeopathy professional to treat the disease. Homeopathy treatment works best to prevent the formation of a calcified hematoma.

So use the medication after the injury to prevent bruises and subsequent calcified hematoma. These medicines also increase the process of absorbing liquid (blood and serum) from the interstitial space thereby fastening overall healing process.

Cortisone injection may be useful:

You can consider a cortisone injection for more serious bruises as it is found quite effective in controlling bruises and calcified hematoma formation.

So the next time you suffer from an injury that may result in bruises and calcified hematoma, consider taking the precautions mentioned above during the healing process.

You can also do some physiotherapy and exercises recommended by your physician to reduce stiffening of joints that will improve mobility and decrease the chance of calcium deposition.

References:
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904539/
  2. https://www.tendonitisexpert.com/myositis-ossificans.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904539/

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