Andre Iguodala’s Left Knee Contusion

On May 20, 2018 during Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Finals, Andre Iguodala was hit on the outside of his left knee. He left the game shortly thereafter. The injury was diagnosed as a contusion (a bruise).

Direct injury to the skin, muscle, and bone can cause uncomfortable tissue damage, bleeding, and swelling that makes it difficult to move and jump. But structurally, things are fine.

A bruise is easy to diagnose on examination. A fracture is unlikely in people that are able to walk. It seems like every athlete gets an MRI for every injury, but that is unusual and difficult to justify, at least in everyday practice.

The body heals bruises over time. Treatments such as ice or pain relievers are for comfort only. Media reports often talk about athletes getting “treatment” which sounds mysterious and magical. This creates a misconception. There is no known way to speed the body’s healing process. In fact, some doctors suggest that athletes avoid anti-inflammatory medications because inflammation is an important part of the healing process that should not be slowed or interfered with.

It is safe to play with a contusion.

This blog was created by Paul Bonilla and David Ring.

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