A bruise, also known as contusion, is a minor hematoma of tissues where tiny blood vessels are damaged and cause bleeding into the surrounding tissues. Bruising occurs due to direct trauma to the body. Bruised foot can be painful and is blue or purplish in color. Bruising is commonly seen in sports injuries.
A bruised foot can occur due to direct trauma or excessive pressure on the foot. There is a thick layer of fat that protects the heel bone. If this layer is displaced, then the heel bone becomes exposed and bruising to the foot occurs more easily. Bruised foot is commonly seen in athletes who are involved in sports which put direct pressure to the foot, such as football, running, basketball etc. Bruising can also occur readily with the use of anticoagulants such as warfarin.
Causes of Bruised Foot
- Direct trauma. The greater the trauma/impact, the more the bruising on the foot.
- Use of certain medicines such as anticoagulants makes a person more susceptible to bruising and even minor injuries result in foot bruise.
- Elderly people are more prone to bruised foot as their skin is thinner.
- Women are more prone to foot bruise as they have more subcutaneous fat.
- Bruising on the foot is more obvious in individuals with lighter complexions.
- Coagulation, platelet and blood vessel disorders or deficiencies cause more bruising due to increased bleeding.
- Trauma to tissues with high vascularity results in more bruising.
- Some people are genetically inclined to bruise more than others.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruised Foot
- Pain and tenderness is present in the area or injury and bruise.
- People suffering from bruised foot often have difficulty in walking.
- Blue or purplish color is present at the area of injury or around the bruise on foot.
- A bruise on the foot commonly develops within 48 hours of the injury.
Treatment of Bruised Foot
- Rest is very important to recover from bruised foot.
- In most of the cases of foot bruise will go away on its own without needing any treatment.
- Heel pads can be used for protection for bruised foot.
- If the bruise on the foot is severe, then cold therapy can be applied.
- In acute bruising, the complete weight-bearing should be avoided and crutches can be used.
- NSAIDs or other painkillers can be used for pain relief from bruised foot.
Healing Time for Bruised Foot
In most cases of bruised foot, the healing time is usually 1 to 2 weeks if the bruise is minor and there is not much pain. You will see the blue or purplish color begin to fade away within few days. If the bruise on the foot is widespread and there is severe pain associated with it then it may indicate a more serious injury like a fracture, which will need a specialized treatment and much longer time to heal. Conservative treatment like icing and keeping the feet elevated can help reduce the healing time.