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Bluish swelling on the toe after an injury. Is it an emergency?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1995
Answered : 4036 Questions
Something just fell on my foot, a wooden letter weighing about a pound. It hurt when it hit, but no more than when you stub your toe or whack your XXXXXXX etc. I went about cleaning up what had dropped and doing a couple other things when I looked down at my foot to see grotesque swelling not a minute later, bluish in tint. Should I go to the emergency room?
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Pragnesh Vachharajani 27 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

Again thanks for sharing picture which has made my job easier.

Yes, I think you need to seek medical attention.

When even a body part is hit, the body reacts to it and there is collection of blood and some fluids in that part and the swelling occurs.

The weight of the object was not great but still as there is considerable swelling X-ray of the foot might be required to have look for any bony injury. The doctor after examination will be better position to advise on this.

In mean time

Take some analgesic like Tylenol for some relief
Keep your leg elevated over pillow while you sit or sleep.
You can use some ice packs over the area to reduce swelling.

I hope this helps you to take an informed decision.

Wishing you speedy recovery and all the best for In vitro Fertilization (IVF)


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Bluish swelling on the toe after an injury. Is it an emergency? 37 minutes later
But the swelling seemed too fast to be a broken bone. It swelled so fast, more like an allergic bee sting. I've had broken bones and sprains before, and they swell much more slowly and are hot to the touch. I can put full weight on it and wiggle toes without any pain. The only thing that hurts or is stiff is the swelling itself. Could I have broken a blood vessel or injured soft tissue in some way? If the swelling goes down quickly should I still seek medical attention?
Answered by Dr. Pragnesh Vachharajani 17 minutes later

Good to hear from you again.

You are absolutely right.

As I have mentioned earlier the swelling is because of initial response of body to injury.

Normally these whole responses take time of couple of hours to develop. As these have appeared fast you need to seek medical attention.

The swelling apart from the broken bone could be because of doctor.



Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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