Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is wrong with my ankle bone?"
I bumped my ankle really hard on a chair at my parents house. Now the bone hurts really bad. It is the round part on the outside. Is this just a bruise? Can you get a bruise on your bone or is something wrong with the cartilage?
Yes, you can injure the bone or any other part of your body, although the bruise will usually be different than how we usually think about them. A bruise is the reaction caused by the body in response to damaged tissue, where some blood escapes from damaged microscopic vessels into the surrounding tissue. This takes on various hues as the blood is slowly resorbed by your body. Bones can also have damage that causes rupture of capillaries, although the structure of them is obviously more resistant to these forces than are other parts of your body. Nerves in the area of the trauma will tell the brain that there has been some damage, which is interpreted as pain. The question then becomes how you should address this pain. For short lived pain that goes away by itself, there is generally nothing to worry about. For pain that persists, gets worse, or makes it impossible for you to do your normal activities (such as walking), you should see your doctor to make sure that none of the adjacent muscle or ligaments/tendons have been damaged due to the injury. Please speak with your doctor if the pain persists.
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