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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Hemarthrosis is bleeding into a joint, usually after an injury. Blood vessels inside the joint are damaged and bleed. The blood then collects in the joint space. The shoulder and knee joints are most commonly affected. Elbow, ankle, and hip joints may also be affected.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have new or worsening joint pain.
- You have joint pain that moves to a muscle or other area.
- You cannot move the joint.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have pain that does not get better after you take your pain medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you take acetaminophen for pain. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not take aspirin unless directed by your healthcare provider. Aspirin can affect blood clotting.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Ask about medicines. Talk to your healthcare provider about all medicines you currently take. Do not take any medicine, vitamin, or supplement without talking to your healthcare provider.
- Return to activities as directed. You may need to wait until your joint is rested or medicines are working. Ask if it is safe for you to play sports, such as football, that can cause injury or bleeding. Sports can be especially dangerous if you have hemophilia.
- Go to physical therapy as directed. Your healthcare provider may also recommend that you work with a physical therapist if you have joint damage from hemarthrosis. A physical therapist can help improve your joint's range of motion.
- Exercise as directed. Exercise helps strengthen muscles and keeps joints healthy. Strong muscles also help protect joints. Your healthcare provider may recommend exercise such as swimming, walking, or riding a bicycle. Ask how much exercise you need and which exercises are best for you.
- Apply ice to the joint as directed. Ice helps reduce pain and swelling. Ice can also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put ice in a plastic bag and cover it with a towel. Place the ice pack or bag on the affected joint for 15 minutes every hour, or as directed.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.