Swelling in the leg with previous history of a car accident

Patient

Q: I had a car accident in November 2008. My brakes went out on my vehicle, and I was T-Boned on my left side. Since then my inner left thigh remains swollen. I have had numerous test done, but no diagnosis has been made. Do you have any information on what might be causing this probem.

Doctor

A:   At the time of the car accident most likely you sustained a muscle contusion. Contusions occur when a direct blow or repeated blows from a blunt object strike part of the body, crushing underlying muscle fibers and connective tissue without breaking the skin. A contusion can result from falling or jamming the body against a hard surface. Sometimes a pool of blood collects within damaged tissue, forming a lump over the injury (hematoma). Sometimes from the hematoma develop myositis ossificans. This is a condition in which the bruised muscle grows bone instead of new muscle cells.Symptoms may include mild to severe pain that does not go away and swelling at the injury site. Abnormal bone formations can also reduce your flexibility. Vigorous stretching exercises may make the condition worse.Rest, ice, compression and elevation to reduce inflammation will usually help. Gentle stretching exercises may improve flexibility. Surgery is rarely required.

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