Texas QB David Ash goes to the locker room for x-rays of an injured, bruised wrist
What causes bruising in a wrist injury like David’s?
Bruising is caused by bleeding underneath the skin.
It’s usually a sign of severe trauma in a young person, whose bones are harder and ligaments thicker than an older person.
In a young person, several layers of anatomy have to be damaged to see bleeding underneath the skin after a wrist injury.
For example, bleeding from a broken bone has to pass from the broken bone edge, up through the muscles or tendons, through the tendon covering (called fascia), and spread underneath the skin and fat layer.
That’s why bruising after a wrist injury is often a sign of a broken wrist.
What is a wrist contusion?
A contusion just means an injury caused by a direct blow, or direct impact.
The blow can be from landing directly on the wrist on the ground or from another player’s pads or helmet striking the wrist.
Contusions are usually minor injuries, don’t require surgery, and heal quicker than sprains, though they can hurt a lot.
An example of what a smashed, broken, fractured wrist looks like
In the picture below, you can see the dark purple bruising in the wrist and hand (compare to the normal color in the fingertips) one day after this patient broke her wrist. X-rays of this wrist show a smashed radius fracture in several pieces. This is a fracture that needs surgery.
Keep in mind that she is older and her skin, bones, and ligaments are weaker, so bruising and swelling will be worse than in a young person.