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Stone Bruise

What is it?

A stone bruise is another name for a deep contusion to a bone and/or the associated soft tissue structures. This can be caused from any injury to the foot or ankle. In most cases, a stone bruise involves pain with or without localized swelling in the forefoot or metatarsal fat pad of the foot. The patient will often describe the discomfort as a deep kind of bruise and walking on the involved site is like walking on a pebble. Stone bruises are usually quick in onset, persistently painful with weight bearing, and are frequently difficult to resolve.

What causes it?

The most frequent cause of a stone bruise is blunt trauma or an impact injury to a bony prominence or its associated soft tissue structures. While the impact force is not enough to cause a fracture, it is sufficient to bruise the soft tissue in the area. In addition to the ball of the foot, the heel bone is also frequently involved in this injury.

How do you treat them?

Stone bruises are initially treated with rest, ice, and elevation. All of these treatments will help to decrease the inflammation and pain. Depending on the severity of the discomfort, a stone bruise can also be treated with non-weight bearing to the foot or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen or a prescription medication prescribed by a podiatrist. The patient should understand that these injuries can be stubborn and somewhat resistant to therapy. Patience and a cooperative attitude are often necessary and beneficial during the course of treatment.


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