What Is a Contusion?

In recent weeks, a couple of baseball players ran into bad luck when a pitched ball bounced off of their foot. Ozzie Albies, who’s being groomed to move up from Triple-A minor league to join the Atlanta Braves, reportedly suffered a foot contusion. Contusion was also the diagnosis for the Washington Nationals’ Jayson Werth when he fouled a pitch off his left toe.

What are these “contusions” that put Albies on a 7-day disabled list and Werth out for at least 10 days?

Contusions, defined

“Contusion” is just another word for a bruise. Contusions occur as a result of direct impact to any of the ligaments, tendons, or muscles in your foot. Accidents like dropping a flat of tomato plants on your foot or accidentally hammering your foot into the ground when you were aiming for a garden stake are impacts that are bound to cause some major contusions. In the two baseball players’ cases, it was the ball accidentally battering their foot. Imagine the force with which that ball careened into foot tissue! Major league ouch.

Whatever the cause of the impact, what you are left with are damaged blood vessels that cause blood to leak into the affected area, leaving it discolored – red, purple, blue, black, or some combination. Bruises can vary in size and intensity depending on what medications you are taking, or even how old you are. The elderly tend to bruise more easily and more often because their skin has thinned and blood vessels have become frail.

Bone Contusions

Bones can also get bruised. The force of an impact can be so great that you get a contusion can develop on the bone itself. You might think you have broken your foot – it can be that painful.

As with most injuries of the feet, if you develop a bruise and it doesn’t get better within a week or two – or you can’t distinguish between a bone contusion and a bone fracture – play it safe. Consult with the podiatric experts of Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts and Dr. Heidi M. Christie of Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. We treat all conditions and injuries of the feet and toes with care and understanding for our patients in the tri-county area. Call us at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online.