Foot Bruise

You have a bruise (contusion) on your foot. There is swelling and some bleeding under the skin but no broken bones. This injury generally takes a few days to a few weeks to heal. During that time, the bruise will typically change in color from reddish, to purple-blue, to greenish-yellow, then to yellow-brown.

Home care

  • Raise (elevate) the foot to reduce pain and swelling. As much as possible, sit or lie down with the foot raised about the level of your heart. This is especially important during the first 48 hours.

  • Ice the foot to help reduce pain and swelling. To make an ice pack, put ice cubes in a plastic bag that seals at the top. Wrap the bag in a thin towel. Apply to the bruised area for 20 minutes every 1 to 2 hours the first day. Continue this 3 to 4 times a day until the pain and swelling go away.

  • Unless another medicine was prescribed, you can take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to control pain. Talk with your healthcare provider before taking these medicines if you have chronic liver or kidney disease. Also talk with your provider if you've ever had a stomach ulcer or digestive bleeding.

  • Depending on how serious your injury is, it may be painful to put weight on the foot or bend the foot while walking. In this case, your provider may have advised you to use crutches, a cane, or a hard sole or cast shoe. If so, use these devices as advised until your injury heals.

Follow up

Follow up with your healthcare provider as advised. Call if you don't get better in 1 to 2 weeks.

When to get medical advice 

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Increased pain or swelling

  • Foot or leg becomes cold, blue, numb, or tingly

  • Signs of infection: warmth, drainage, or increased redness or pain around the bruise

  • Inability to move the injured foot or any of the toes

  • Frequent bruising for unknown reasons

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