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Sports Medicine

Frequent shin bruising



Can frequent and hard bruising to the shins and shin bones result in permanent damage to the bones, and possible problems later in life? My son is a competitive gymnast and has always been easy to bruise. He has reached a level where his shins are almost constantly bruised due to learning and mastering new skills. Is there anything we can do to assist in long term healing?


The skin is very thin and close to the bone on the front of the shin and is prone to bruising with this type of activity.  Shin guards are one option to help limit this type of injury, however, there is not likely to be any long term problems from activity related bruising in this area.  One possible side effect could be hyperpigmentation in areas of repeated injury. 

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati