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bruised foot after slipping/falling on wet floor

by Rosie
(Lynn, MA)


abrasion on heel

Fell/slipped on wet tile floor 2 days ago. Very painful at time of fall, pain settled after a couple hours, woke up next morning with circular, dark purple bruise on side of left foot under ankle bone. No swelling that I have noticed, not extremely painful, pain comes and goes - slightly painful to walk on but not a problem bearing weight. Pain comes in waves when I'm walking for more than a few minutes, standing - also sometimes painful as I'm sitting with no pressure on foot. Pain is at spot of bruising and also under two middle toes. Some pain in the heel also. Overall not very painful just that the bruise is weird because I definitely didnt bump foot into anything during fall so I worry that something inside foot is torn/displaced etc.


RESPONSE

Hi Rosie,

In the simplest of terms, you suffered trauma to your foot. So that means almost anything you can think of, could have happened to your foot.

Not only is your foot bruised but it appears from your picture that you also have an abrasion, meaning you tore off some of the skin on the heel, when you fell.

I mention that because since the skin is "open" there is always the chance of infection. I know nothing about you, including your medical history, things such as whether or not your diabetic, or perhaps do you have circulation issues in your foot, or for that matter, even your age. So, an infection in the foot in an individual with other medical problems can be a more serious situation.

I am not implying that is causing your pain, but an infection is certainly something you should be on
the lookout for.

The thing about trauma is that the end result of your fall is unpredictable. You could have done damage to almost any part of your foot (as well as other parts of your body).

As the pain relates to your foot, it could be the result of anything...from a sprain, to a torn ligament or a torn tendon, to a fracture somewhere in the foot. Again, that is the problem with falls, the resulting damage done is unpredictable.

For this reason, if you are having pain that is lingering, pain that seems to be getting worse, the foot or ankle is becoming more red and swollen then you will need to seek medical attention.

At the very least you should have the foot x-rayed to see if there is any sign of fracture.

The abrasion should be evaluated for infection and if so, should be properly treated.

If you are having difficulty in walking then some sort of immobilization may be necessary.

It is now four days since your trauma; I have no idea if you have sought medical attention at this point, but if you have not, and your symptoms are substantially diminished then there may not be a need for medical care. The only caveat here would be if you happen to be diabetic or have circulation issues in your foot.

If you have not yet sought medical care and the foot is feeling better, do not disregard the abrasion. You should be washing it with soap and water daily, then applying a layer of Bacitracin or Neosporin with a dressing to protect it from shoe irritation. I would do this for about seven to ten days.

Marc Mitnick DPM
DISCLAIMER

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