She was attacked from behind, and knocked to the ground in Normanton, Derby, at around 8.30am on Bank Holiday Monday, with the mugger taking her green handbag.
It was found around half a mile away later the same day with one handle ripped off.
The unnamed woman is in hospital being treated for her injuries, which are not thought to be life-threatening. She suffered bruising as well as the broken neck.
Owing to the nature of the assault, she cannot tell police what the attacker looked like, and officers have appealed for help.
Detective Sergeant Laura Kershaw said: “The victim has been unable to give us a description of the person or persons responsible for this robbery – that is why we need your help to find who did this.
“If you were in or around the junction of Empress Road and St Chad’s Road at around 8.30am – and to anyone who may have been in the area of Moore Street and Normanton Road between 8.30am and 9.15am.
“We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have seen anyone with a bag matching the one pictured in any suspicious circumstances.
“In particular if you have CCTV or dash cam footage that may have picked up footage of the offence or of the offenders carrying the bag in the nearby area.
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“This is a particularly nasty incident that has targeted a very vulnerable elderly woman who was unable to defend herself. We need your help to find and stop those responsible.”
:: Anyone with information should contact Derbyshire Police with the reference 224-280518.