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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is haemarthrosis?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 5


    Dr. Aaron Albrecht works at Body Wise Chiropractic in Bibra Lake, Western Australia. The clinic is located within a gym, and Dr. Albrecht is the … View Profile


    Haemarthrosis is where blood is able to enter the joint capsule. Understanding this may take a short lesson in anatomy.

    Most joints in the body are formed by two opposing ends of a bone with cartilage caps, which are surrounded by a ligamentous capsule. This capsule is filled with a fluid called synovium which supports the function of the joint. When an injury is sustained, some blood may leak into the joint capsule and mix with this fluid. This is called haemarthrosis.

    Hope this helps.

    -Dr. A

  • 4


    I am a specialist sports physiotherapist with a sub-speciality in adolescents in sport (as awarded bu the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2007). In addition … View Profile

    A haemarthrosis is when a joint swells and bleeds.  

    We often see a haemarthrosis when a major knee injury such as an ACL rupture occurs - the knee swells massively (close to double its orginal size) with in 2hrs of the ACL injury.  A haemarthrosis is one of the signs we look for when diagnosing an ACL rupture - you can get a haemarthrosis in the knee for other reasons, but in 70-80% of cases it is due to an ACL rupture, so if you injure your knee during sport and it swells+++ almost immediately you need to see a physio ASAP because it is extremely likely that you have done some serious damage to your knee.


  • 5


    Dr Ryan Hislop


    Ryan Hislop is the Clinical Director at the Mudgee Chiropractic Health and Wellness Centre. As an experienced and evidence-based diagnostician, Ryan works largely by medical … View Profile

    As mentioned by Dr O'Sullivan-Pippia, the most common cause for haemarthrosis is anterior cruciate injury (incidence 64-72%). In a minority of cases (12%), haemarthrosis can result of long standing injuries, secondary to an episode of instability, and in 8% of cases can be due to meniscal rupture. 

    Of interest, sports related injuries are the major cause of traumatic haemarthrosis. Rugby seems to be the most commonly reported of the sports (38%)

    Jones et al. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1989 January; 71(1): 40–43

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