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Left knee turned purple with pain. History of leg injury. What could this be?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9086 Questions
Re: Transaction HCM0000

Additional information for my previous question regarding my wife's knee turning purple:

The entire surface on and around the front of my wife's left knee suddenly turned dark purple. It's a circular pattern approximately 4 inches in diameter. One would think, just looking at the knee, that she has seriously injured it, but she does recall any such injury. She says there is some pain, and she is putting an ice pack on it. From my observation, the pain doesn't appear to be severe.

Medical history:

1. Diagnosed with shingles about three years ago
2. Injured her left leg about five inches below the knee about one year ago. It was a puncture wound from running into a pointed corner of a display in a department store. To me, the wound did not appear to be deep. However, she said it was very painful. Over a period of two-three weeks, it healed; left a small visible scar.
Posted Tue, 29 Oct 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Looks like a bruise with no injury.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
I have seen the picture attached. There is a bruise on the knee with no associated swelling in the area.
Such spontaneous bruise can appear due to a bleeding disorder. This can happen due to prolonged intake of aspirin also. She needs to consult her physician to get a complete blood coagulation profile checked with APTT and platelet count to rule out other possible causes like thrombocytopenia in case such bruises are recurrent.
This can also happen due to a viral infection in the recent past- decreases the synthesis of platelets from the bone marrow.
Presence of any autoimmune disorders also needs to be ruled out.
The treatment is based on the diagnosis and severity of the problem. Treatment is usually done by stopping aspirin, fluid infusion, steroids, immunoglobulins, blood transfusions, etc according to the severity of the condition.
If this is the first episode then let it subside on its own on next 2-3 weeks.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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