The 81-year-old woman was walking in Wester Hailes Road towards the Wester Hailes Plaza at around 7pm yesterday and began climbing the stairs of the footbridge.
A young man approached her and grabbed at her handbag and a carrier bag she was holding. As a result of the struggle the victim fell down a number of stairs and injured her arm and shoulder.
The suspect then made off with the woman’s bags and was pursued by a member of the public before being lost to sight.
A man, who was with his young daughter, then helped the victim to her feet and she returned home before contacting police and attending at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where she continues to be treated.
Police are now urging anyone who can assist with their enquiries to come forward.
The suspect is described as white, 16 or 17-years-old and wearing a light coloured two-tone hooded top, light coloured jogging bottoms and trainers.
A police spokesman said: “As well as being extremely upset by the theft of her bags, the elderly woman also suffered a painful injury to her arm and shoulder, which required treatment.
“Anyone who was in the Wester Hailes Road area yesterday evening and remembers seeing anything suspicious is asked to contact police immediately.
“We are particularly keen to trace the member of the public who helped the victim up after her fall and would ask him to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Those with information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.