Horse kiss is a colloquial term for a bruise in the area of ​​the thigh, knee or calf. The medical term for this is contusion.

The term "horse kiss" is probably derived from injuries caused by claats that cause painful bruises. In some regions of Germany they are also called deer, pork knuckle or schenkerl. As a horse kiss are usually referred to those thigh bruises that arise in sports with violent body contact, such as by vigorous ramming of an opponent. The skin is typically intact, as it is a dull force.

Causes of a horse kiss

The causes of a thigh bruise are blunt external trauma. These include kicks, bumps or falls. When speaking of a horse kiss in sports, this usually involves an opposing player. Especially in contact sports like handball and soccer and in martial arts horse kisses are common and happen accidentally or intentionally. The visible swelling and the resulting bruise are due to a bruising of the muscles and injury to small blood vessels through which blood escapes into the tissue.

Diagnosis of a horse kiss

Diagnostically, horse kisses can be quickly identified as a gaze diagnosis, if one remembers the triggering situation. Even moderate body contact can cause major bruising. In particular, the lateral thigh is sensitive to this - the cause is the unyielding tendon plate that runs through it, the iliotibial tract.

Diagnostic groundbreaking can be pre-existing conditions and medications of those affected, which increase the sensitivity to bruising. These include people with hemophilia or taking blood thinners. If an injury can be ruled out as the cause of the horse kiss, the doctor should further clarify.

Symptoms with the horse kiss

A horse kiss is very painful. The pain in the thigh usually occurs acutely after the injury and can be increased under pressure or stress. The injury of blood vessels and lymphatic fluid leads to the tissue around the affected area and a bruise (a so-called hematoma) and swelling occur. The spot appears red and is very sensitive to pain. A horse kiss can significantly restrict mobility. The bruise takes on different colors in the course of the cure within a few days, is initially blue, then purple to brown, green and finally yellow.

Treatment of a horse kiss

As is usual with bruises, a horse kiss should follow the so-called PECH rule.

The physical activity should be interrupted immediately (pause) and the extremity be quieted. For cooling, ice cream can be used locally. As a result, blood flow is reduced and less blood seeps into the tissue, reducing the spread of swelling and bruising. A tight compression bandage supports this process. Beforehand, a cooling, anti-inflammatory ointment can be applied. Then the leg has to be stored up, so also the blood circulation and the resulting swelling is reduced.

The sports break should be respected until the bruise heals. If necessary, analgesics can be taken, which additionally contain the inflammation. These include ibuprofen or diclofenac, which can also be used as an ointment. Painkillers that have a strong blood-thinning effect should not be taken.

Horse kiss on the calf

If blunt force is applied to the calf, bruising may occur. It is a typical injury in football.

It comes to swelling of the affected area and calf pain. Especially the stretching of the calf is painful. Here, too, should be followed by the steps of the PECH rule: Sports break, first cooling, compression and elevation of the extremity. If necessary, analgesic medication can be taken, less strongly recommended are blood-thinning painkillers such as ASA.

Horse kiss on the knee

By violent kicks, bumps or falls it can also come to joints to a horse kiss. Knee bruising is one of the most common injuries. Blood vessels and lymphatics are crushed and torn; it comes to the escape of liquid. This leads to knee swelling; if necessary, an articular effusion in the knee develops, which can lead to severe pain when mobilized.

Stress on the joint should be avoided, even walking can lead to severe pain. As with all contusions, it is first cooled, a compression bandage is applied and the leg is stored upright. This reduces blood flow in the joint, and less blood and lymph fluid leak from the injured vessels into the surrounding tissue.

Since knee joint injuries are very painful, analgesics can be taken as needed. There are a variety of other injuries that can lead to knee pain, such as the ligament injury in the knee joint. The doctor can make the diagnosis by a careful history, it is especially important to describe in detail the triggering situation, ie the force from the outside or the movement that led to the pain.

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