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Shin bone injury, lump, ankle swollen, bruise extended till foot. Damaged a vein?

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Practicing since : 2002
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Last week I hit my XXXXXXX bone very hard on a hard plastic dog house. A half golfball-sized lump appeared, and later that day my ankle started to swell. Since then I have developed a bruise from the lump on my XXXXXXX extending to my foot. There is still slight swelling. The whole area has improved somewhat, but I am just wondering if this is cause for concern. I am a 60-year old female with no prior conditions. I do bruise easily. I am wondering if I broke a vein. Thanks.
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thank you for your query.

Your question is a very good one and I will try to provide you with some information and recommendations. From what you have told us here you have suffered a moderate degree of trauma to your lower leg. When this happens sometimes a tiny blood vessel is injured and this causes quite a bit of swelling and tenderness. This is due to a little bit of leakage of blood under the skin.

Over time what usually happens is the swelling will slowly through the use of gravity come to the lower part of the leg causing a general degree of swelling of the ankle. I suspect that is what is going on in your case.

As far as recommendations right now I have a few thoughts. First of all I would like to recommend that you elevate your leg as much as possible when you are not walking around. This will help mobilize some of the swelling out of that leg. In addition I suggest you alternate ice as well as heat to the lower extremity. The ice will help avoid any further injury or leaking of fluid or blood from the blood vessels and the heat therapy will also help mobilize some of the fluid out of the leg. You could do some warm soaks in the bathtub a couple of times of day to help with this.

If you have a significant degree of pain I suggest you use something like Tylenol. I would not recommend that you use aspirin or any blood thinners as this might cause more swelling. I suspect it will take at least 10 to 14 days before your leg is much better.

If for some reason you developed numbness of those foot or inability to walk I would bring this to the attention of your primary care provider. For now I see no reason to worry very much. I am confident that you will heal and returned back to your normal function within a couple of weeks.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope my answer has been both helpful and adequate. If you have additional concerns regarding this I am available to address them.


Dr. Robert.
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