ZocdocAnswersShould I be concerned about a bruise on my shin bone which has not gone away?

Question

Should I be concerned about a bruise on my shin bone which has not gone away?

I am in my 50s and ran into something metal with some force almost 8 years ago. There continues to be this brownish bruise there which shows more or less it seems depending on my activity and at times I think there is some swelling there but if there is, it is minimal. The pain which occurs is very mild and very dull. There is some discomfort to the touch but again it is very mild.I am rather sedentary and experience some swelling in the left ankle at times when I am sedentary for too long. I am wondering if there is any correllation between the bruising and the swelling of the ankle as they are both on my left side.

Answer

Your symptoms are concerning. I would recommend that you have this evaluated by your primary care physician. This could be a minor symptom that requires no intervention or could be a condition that requires intervention. Firstly, a persistent skin change is concerning. A bruise alone should heal. A bruise, or ecchymosis as its medically known, is the process by which small blood vessels break and therefore release blood into the skin. These vessels should heal and therefore the ecchymosis should go away. If it does not this should be evaluated. Skin changes may be consistent with a skin condition. This is to say that the skin changes may be unrelated to the trauma. Melanoma, actinic keratosis and squamous cell are all possible conditions. Another possibility is that this represents a vasculitis -- this is a chronic inflammation of the vessel that causes constant release of blood. It is also possible that there is damage to a major vein. Leg swelling suggests there is some venous insufficiency. This can also be caused by a blood clot. If the vein was damaged during this trauma (or otherwise) it can cause chronic problems and therefore should be evaluated. Talk to your doctor. This is concerning. Good luck!

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