Hematoma / Haematoma / Heamatoma / Traumatic blood clot

What is a hematoma?

A hematoma is the result of a traumatic injury to your skin or the tissues underneath your skin.

When blood vessels under your skin are damaged and leak, the blood pools and results in a bruise. A hematoma forms as your blood clots, resulting in swelling and pain.

Hematomas can occur anywhere in your body, including your leg.

Causes of hematoma in your leg

Although hematomas can show up elsewhere, if they appear on your leg, it’s usually due to injury such as a blow to your leg from a fall or an encounter with a blunt object.

A hematoma can also form after you have certain leg surgeries.

Your potential for hematoma could increase if you’re taking medication that thins your blood, such as:

Your potential could also increase if you are suffering from a viral infection, such as:

Other conditions that can heighten your risk of hematoma include:

Leg hematoma symptoms

The primary symptoms of a leg hematoma are:

  • discoloration from the blood under your skin

  • swelling

  • pain

Usually the extent of the discoloration and swelling reflect the severity of the injury. Fracturing your thigh bone (femur) is commonly associated with a significant amount of bleeding and will often result in a large hematoma.

Treating a hematoma in your leg

Hematomas usually clear on their own, slowly getting smaller over time as the accumulated blood is absorbed. It might take months for a large hematoma to be fully absorbed.

Commonly, a leg hematoma is treated with:

Surgery / Aspiration

If you have a hematoma over your shinbone, your doctor may recommend surgery.

If you have a large hematoma that doesn’t go away for several days following your injury, your doctor might suggest that it be drained.


If you bruise your leg and the bruise becomes swollen and painful, you could have a hematoma. It could indicate an injury that is — or complications that are — more severe than you think, especially if the bruise doesn’t improve over a week or two. See your doctor so they can examine your leg and make a treatment recommendation. If you think you’ve broken your leg, be sure to get emergency medical attention.


A haematoma is a severe bruise within the soft tissues, usually a muscle.

It often results from an injury.

Symptoms will often resolve over time, but it can take several months before all the bruising and swelling goes.

Anti-inflammatory pain killers, Antibiotics, Pain gels and Rest to the affected area with Exercises help to recover fast.

Some get infected needing long treatment and surgery.

In the first week post-injury the initial treatment is elevation and the application of ice.

Hot - warm bag or Ice:

Maintain at least a two hour gap before re-applying.

Elevate: elevate the area, above the heart if possible when resting. You may need to continue to elevate on occasions throughout the healing process.

From Two Weeks Post Injury Application of heat is recommended (wheat bag or hot water bottle) for periods of 10 to 15 minutes.

Gentle stretching of the muscle is important – hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat four times (repeat three times per day). See exercises opposite.

Massage Gently massage the haematoma starting from the outside and do slow, rhythmic, circular movements.

The haematoma will gradually be absorbed by the body. Keeping active is important. Common muscles where haematomas occur are calf, quadriceps and hamstrings.

Haematoma Patient Information Hamstring Stretch – In Sitting Place foot on a low stool / step keeping knee straight.

Reach both hands down to toes until you feel a pulling sensation down the back of your thigh.

Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat four times. Quadriceps Stretches Lying on your front, bend your knee and pull your foot towards your buttock until you feel a pulling sensation on the front of your thigh.

Make sure your knees stay close together and your hip does not rise off the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat four times. Calf Stretch Stand with your hands flat against a wall.

Place one foot in front of the other with your toes pointing forwards. Lunge forwards, bending the front knee but keeping the back knee straight. Keep your heels on the floor. Lunge until you feel a pulling sensation on the back of your calf. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat four times.

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