A bruise is a sign of bleeding into the tissues. In most cases, a deep bruise does not need any specific treatment.
Immediately after the injury, apply a cold pack or ice to the injured area. The cold causes blood vessels in the area of the bruise to narrow. This may result in less bleeding (into the bruise) and less swelling.
In rare cases, an injury of the leg with bruising may cause enough swelling that it cuts off the blood supply to areas of the foot and leg. This can cause numbness in the foot. Very tight swelling of the leg causes "compartment syndrome," which is an emergency that needs surgery to relieve pressure in the leg. If you have significant swelling or numbness in the foot after an injury, see a doctor.
If you take blood thinners and you develop a large bruise, let your doctor know. If the bruising is substantial, your doctor may consider stopping your blood thinner for a time. If you take warfarin (Coumadin), significant bruising might prompt your doctor to do a blood test to ensure your dose is not too high.
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