People without hemophilia may take their joints for granted.
With hemophilia, your joints are vulnerable. It's important to take good care of them since healthy joints help you get around. This is especially true for people with hemophilia and inhibitors, since bleeding can be harder to stop.7,13
The more you know, the better you will be able to protect yourself.
Why It Is Important to Protect Your Joints
Bleeding into the knees, elbows, or other joints is a common form of internal bleeding.9
Joint bleeds can be tricky. They can happen without any obvious injury. There may be no pain or visible signs at first. Then the joint can swell, become hot to the touch, and painful to bend or move.9
As bleeding continues, the swelling grows larger. Moving the joint can become difficult — and the pain can become severe.9
For people with inhibitors, it is especially important to protect the body's joints. Treat every bleed as soon as possible, no matter how minor it seems. If joint bleeds are not treated the right way, they are more likely to happen again and again.13
If bleeds do tend to repeat in a single joint, it becomes what is called a "target joint".13
Joints and Repeat Bleeding
Repeat bleeding can lead to joint damage. At first, that damage might lead to a limited range of motion.4
Over time, the damage can become more severe. Joint damage can cause pain, stiffness, and even deformity. Damage like this can make it harder for the joint to function properly. In severe cases, it might even limit the ability to walk.4,13
Treat Joint Bleeds Quickly
New bleeds should be treated within 2 hours, if possible. If serious bleeding does occur, contact your doctor, nurse, or hemophilia care team immediately and get treatment.3,4
Remember, the most important thing is to stop and care for bleeds as soon as they happen in order to stay on the offense against joint damage.4