A bruised ankle is a relatively common injury and can cause symptoms that range from mild to severe in nature, Pain, swelling, and redness are among the most common symptoms associated with a bruised ankle. The swelling and discomfort can make it difficult or impossible to put pressure on the affected foot. Treatment for these symptoms may vary according to the specific situation and generally involves rest, cold compresses, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Any specific questions or concerns about a bruised ankle on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
Sports injuries are among the most common contributing factors to the occurrence of a bruised ankle, although there are other potential causes, including automobile accidents or overuse of the surrounding ligaments. In most cases, mild to moderate pain occurs as a result of the injury. If severe bruising occurs, the pain may be quite severe.
Swelling often occurs when injury to the ankle is sustained. The degree of swelling can vary greatly, ranging from barely noticeable to becoming so severe that it is impossible to wear a shoe. The combination of pain and swelling may cause difficulty when trying to walk, and it may be impossible to place any weight on the ankle.
Some degree of skin discoloration is to be expected when a bruised ankle occurs. In the beginning, the area around the ankle may appear red, later turning into the familiar purple bruise. If the discoloration becomes severe, a doctor should be consulted to make sure no blood clots are present.
The various symptoms of a bruised ankle are usually treated individually after a doctor has evaluated the injured area and has ruled out additional damage. Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen usually provide sufficient relief from the discomfort associated with this type of injury. Ice packs or cold compresses may be used to reduce swelling, and the patient may find relief from resting the ankle and keeping it elevated above the heart.
In rare cases, blood clots may develop underneath the skin as a result of a bruised ankle. Prescription medications may be given in an effort to prevent complications from these blood clots. In the most extreme situations, surgical intervention may become necessary to remove the blood clots or repair any additional damage to surrounding tissues. Carefully following the instructions of a doctor can usually prevent the development of severe complications, and a bruised ankle usually heals completely within a few weeks.