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Having bruising and swelling in the ankle area. What should I do?

Apr 2013
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Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 9343 Questions
I slipped on an ice covered step and dented my tibia about four inches above the ankle. I did not seek health care, as I did not realize the magnitude of the injury and was in a remote northern location. A few days later (and for a few weeks), I had bruising and swelling in the area. It was at least 8 weeks before I was able to get to civilization and a doctor. Is there anything I should do about it? I am 57 years old, but very active in mountaineering and skiing.
Posted Fri, 6 Dec 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 42 minutes later
Brief Answer: Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX Detailed Answer: Thanks for the query. You need specific treatment only if there is a fracture so this is the only question. Since this part of tibia is covered with think skin layer,any fracture would manifest with deformity. So if there is no deformity of bone,then this is probably not a fracture. However,it seems to be severe contusion and swelling,hematoma and pain are expected and it may last for up to 3 weeks. To treat this you need to rest, put ice compresses, elastic bandages, keep your leg elevated and take antiinflammatory painkillers. If you dont notice improvement,then you should visit doctor and do xrays. Wish you good health. Feel free to ask. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having bruising and swelling in the ankle area. What should I do? 4 hours later
Nearly three years later, I can still feel minor pain in that area and about a half centimitre dent. I was able to hike up Table Mountain, at Capetown, SA, but felt pain for about three months afterward. Still concerned.
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 6 hours later
Brief Answer: Hi and welcome Detailed Answer: Well if it was 3 years later then this is something else. Such injuries may not hurt at the beginning,but if there was bone erosion,then there is a risk of faster development of osteoarthritis in this area than in other people. This injury or any other injury,even excessive exercise or walking can lead to chronic leg pain in your age. You should avoid skiing an hiking while there is a pain and avoid prolonged standing.. Also you should start with physical therapy if available in your place (massage, hydrotherapy, magnetotherapy, TEN) and consult your doctor about proper medicines. And I suggest to do should do doppler leg ultrasound to verify blood flow in legs since it can be cause of your pain too. Wish you good health. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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