Everything about Hemarthrosis

Hemarthrosis is characterized with bleeding associated to a joint cavity. A joint that exhibits hemarthrosis in frequent episodes, it is named a target joint. It means that the same joint needs to experience at least 4 bleeds separately in a span of 6 months. The joints that are mostly affected include ankles, elbows, and knees, but it can also be observed in the wrists, shoulders, and hip.


What Is It?

Joint bleeding can be seen commonly in haemophilia, a genetic condition which can be seen when the clotting protein is missing or defective. Excessive bleeding that is extended for a significant period of time could permanently damage the joint of a person and reduce the movement causing permanent disability.

The frequency and severity of the bleeds will help in determining how likely it is for the person to experience permanent damage.

The pressure and the bleeding could result in severe deformity, swelling, and pain. The damage that is caused in hemarthrosis is similar to that of arthritis. When the joint bleeds, it could affect the cartilage that surround the bone area. Cartilage is known for connecting two bones together without rubbing against each other while the individual is moving. Joint bleeding could destroy the cartilage. When the cartilage is damaged, it will not have the ability to protect the bones during an incidence of friction, causing a lot of pain. This will restrict the movement of the person with time.


The early signs of joint bleeding resulting from Hemarthrosis are:

  • Swelling in the joint
  • Warmth in the joint
  • Tingling in the affected area
  • If it is observed in babies, he/she could cry or stay irritable for a significant amount of time

If the symptoms turn to be serious, it would include:

  • Discomfort
  • Loss of motion
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth over the joint’s skin
  • Small children may not put weight, use, or straighten the limb that is affected


Hemarthrosis can be seen among people who suffer from bleeding disorders, like haemophilia. Older people are also at a higher risk of developing this condition. Some of the other causes include:

  • Joint infection
  • Certain types of chronic conditions, like cancer
  • Blood-thinning drugs
  • Trauma resulting from injury or sprain
  • Arthritis


The underlying cause will determine the treatment method that is to be used. The doctor will have to diagnose the problem separately before beginning a treatment. The condition could be treated using surgery. Two main surgical procedures can be incorporated for treating this condition.


This method focuses on removing the synovium, a joint lining. It contains blood vessels, known to be the major cause behind the bleeding. There are three types of synovectomy:

  • Open
  • Arthroscopic
  • Radioactive

Joint Replacement

When the pain is long-term and chronic, surgeons may opt for joint replacement surgery. Here the entire damaged joint is removed and replaced using metal and plastic components.

Other treatment methods that are incorporated include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Physical therapy
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