Greater Manchester Police said it could have had “much graver consequences”.
The pensioner was waiting for a bus in Chadderton on Thursday morning when two men tried to snatch her handbag.
She banged her head as she was dragged to the ground at the bus stop on Turf Lane just before midday.
She was treated in hospital for multiple injuries to her head, knees and hands before being discharged.
The men fled empty-handed.
“This was a violent, cowardly attack on an elderly woman,” said Detective Sergeant Alex Wilkinson from Greater Manchester Police.
“It is hard to imagine what kind of individual would target a vulnerable member of the community and leave them with multiple injuries.
“This attack could have had much graver consequences. It is only due to the remarkable strength of the victim that she has been able to leave hospital and continue her recovery at home.”
The incident happened at a bus stop served by the number 81 bus, and detectives believe it’s possible that travellers who use that service may have seen the two men they want to speak to.
Officers are also appealing for dashcam footage.
:: Anyone with information should call 0161 85 68962/69063 or 68999 quoting incident number 852 of 16/08/18.
:: Alternatively, they can ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.