Advertisement

Why is my ankle black and blue?

Your ankle is black and blue due to bleeding and inflammation beneath the skin, or bruising. Bruising is the result of internal damage to the tissue and support structures beneath the skin.

If your ankle is black and blue, it is a sign that damage has occurred to the soft tissues (i.e., muscle, tendon, skin, fat) in your ankle. The black and blue appearance of your ankle occurs because tiny blood vessels within the soft tissues (called capillaries) have been torn. When these tiny vessels are damaged, blood is allowed to escape the vessels and leak into the tissue. This black and blue appearance (a.k.a., bruising) can linger for several days, but will usually go away on its own. The bruising may change colors over several days because of chemical processes that are happening in the area. There is no need for concern regarding the changing color of a bruise.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern University Athletic Training Education Program.)

Continue Learning about Sprains and Strains

Weekend Warrior: Simple Self-Care for Minor Strains, Sprains and Bruises
Weekend Warrior: Simple Self-Care for Minor Strains, Sprains and Bruises
Whether you're an athlete or a semi-out-of-shape desk lounger who hasn't seen a gym in months, soft-tissue injuries (think strains, sprains, and bruis...
Read More
Don’t be a Turkey this Turkey Bowl Season
Don’t be a Turkey this Turkey Bowl Season
Dr. Mike’s Cleveland Clinic sees plenty; so does Dr. Oz’s New York Presbyterian Hospital -- emergency room visits for sprains, broken bones, contusion...
Read More
How can I help prevent foot sprains?
James P. Ioli, DPMJames P. Ioli, DPM
A foot sprain involves tearing a ligament, a fibrous structure that connects one bone to another...
More Answers
What is a grade 3 sprain?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
A grade 3 sprain is a complete tear of the ligament. If the examiner pulls or pushes on the joint in...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.