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Tell me about stubbed toe injuries


Ali in OR
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At lunch today, I was racing between the living room and the kitchen trying to feed my disabled dd in the living room and make a pbj sandwich for myself at the same time in our ridiculously tight 30 min lunch (I'm working online for our local high school). Anyway, I stubbed my pinky toe against dd's wheelchair. Felt like a normal stubbed toe--ouch! But then I noticed the pain in the toe hours later and it's still throbbing. No real swelling. A little line of blood around base of the nail. No real bruising. Doesn't really hurt to palpate the bone. The nail bed hurts a lot, even without pressure. I did an epsom salt soak, have an ice pack on it. I can walk just fine, but don't want to bend it like in a lunge, or do anything like jumping jacks on it. Tell me it's not broken and will be better in a few days. Or tell me otherwise if you've been in a similar situation. I'll rest it tomorrow, but I've been in a good exercise pattern and don't really want to be off for weeks.

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Someone call the toe truck!

 

(Sorry, now serious)

I can't say for sure whether or not it's broken, but it may not be. I had something similar happen to my big toe where the nail hurt, or the flesh around the nail, but not the bone. It would randomly flare up and hurt more over the next few weeks, but I could walk and go about my normal business without issue. If it got stubbed again though man did it hurt. Big toes are more resilient than pinky toes, though.

I'd say try exercising in the next few days and see how it feels. If it hurts to flex like you normally do, change routine to something else that is more stationary feet, and recheck again every few days.

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I had two serious stubbed toe injuries this past year. The first one involved a fall on a slick deck. The second involved tripping over a wire basket where my toe bent backwards as I fell.

In both cases the swelling and bruising and tenderness lasted a couple of weeks. I could fully bear weight on them within 72 hours. 
 

I am having foot xrays done tomorrow for another reason. I am curious about whether they will be able to detect a history of breaks.

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Not a toe, but I will say I posted about my finger/wrist injury a couple months ago and went with the advice to wait and see. I ended up in a splint for 5 weeks after I finally went to an orthopedic. So me, I think I'd just go get the thing x-rayed and get the proper treatment. I think it's the 40+ thing on me. I seem to get injured more often and ignore it no longer seems to work. If you get it checked, you have no regrets. 

Oh, and the astonishing thing? The pain I had been putting up with for a week decreased dramatically once I got in the splint. It was counter-intuitive. Or maybe I should have realized. 

So I would get it checked because of the throbbing. If it still hurts in the morning, I would go in.

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Googlefu is saying throbbing is an indication it's broken. I don't know what the treatment is, but are you cool with not treating it or home treatment if it *is* broken? That was the thing that got me about my hand, that I realized it was important to my function and that I wanted it to heal optimally. I would think you would feel that way about your foot too. And maybe invest in some house shoes for the future once you get through this. :smile:

https://www.afacc.net/foot-problems/broken-toes/  basic info including treatment options.

Edited by PeterPan
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15 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Googlefu is saying throbbing is an indication it's broken. I don't know what the treatment is, but are you cool with not treating it or home treatment if it *is* broken? That was the thing that got me about my hand, that I realized it was important to my function and that I wanted it to heal optimally. I would think you would feel that way about your foot too. And maybe invest in some house shoes for the future once you get through this. :smile:

https://www.afacc.net/foot-problems/broken-toes/  basic info including treatment options.

I did see that on the list of signs it was broken, but I was missing a lot of the other signs so I'm still hoping not! I will see how it's doing tomorrow. I've been going barefoot a lot this summer because I had what I think was extensor tendonitis in my other foot (running shoes too tight?) and it hurt to wear shoes. Maybe I'll need a shoe on the left foot and bare on the right foot...

ETA: I can probably still do Birkenstocks on both feet. Birkenstocks forever!!!

Edited by Ali in OR
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At one place we stayed while traveling - there was a ONE INCH step up to the bathroom.  Needless to stay, my toe had a few close encounters in the night.

One - left my poor toe in pain, and not wanting to bend when I walked, for several days, but it was not broken.

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I broke my baby toe when I was in high school. The doctor told me to wear stiff soled shoes for the next X weeks so the toe wouldn't bend. I couldn't wear tennis shoes. Wooden clogs were in style then, so that was what I wore daily for several weeks. He said the toe shouldn't bend. I don't know if that was specific to where my break was or if it was essentially splinting without splinting. Hope it's not broken and heals quickly!

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I did the same thing over 2 weeks ago and it was just before bed.  I thought to myself ohwell I will just go to sleep and ignore it.  In the middle of the night I woke up in serious pain. LOL  Anyway, I can still only wear 1 pair of shoes.  I could barely walk for over a week.  What happened is I got new front doors and had moved some furniture around.  I noticed the blinds weren't closed as I was about to get into bed and went to close them without turning any lights on and forgot about the rearranged furniture.  Stupid. 

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Stiff soled shoes are all they used to do for broken toes.  My dd has broken her pinky toe before and literally, the doctor said stiff soled shoes.  I feel like he may even have given us a medical boot thing that velcros.  At least one of the times.  (she's broken it a couple times.)

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I broke my toe 6 weeks ago by dropping a huge tile-framed mirror on it (luckily my toe cushioned the fall so I wouldn't get seven years of bad luck!). They x-rayed the toe and found I had split the first little bone lengthwise. They gave me three Tylenol and a post-op shoe like the one linked below If you get one get it large enough so that there is a good 1/2 inch + at the end to protect your toe from further stubs. I iced the toe for the first week and then just elevated it periodically. In a few weeks they let me switch over to a hard sole shoe, in my case a stiff, substantial hiking sneaker, but I had to buy one a half size up because my toe still swells  after walking. I did not exercise during this time. I am still wearing the post-op shoe when I sleep because it keeps it from being pressed painfully into the mattress.

https://www.amazon.com/Vive-Post-Shoe-Lightweight-Adjustable/dp/B00ZNU6JIO/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=post+op+shoe&qid=1601989071&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFEOUFLODFQMUJTRkYmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA5MTEzNTQxM1g0NkJNSE9aMTMyJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAyNzk2ODgxTFBIUDdYUDhXRlFFJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

Edited by Kalmia
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If the toe is still in good alignment with the other toes on your foot, you should be fine. You could do a gentle buddy tape of the injured toe to the one beside it, if you think it needs some support, but otherwise the stiff-soled shoe suggestion of a PP is probably your best bet. 

Also, don't bump it again anytime soon. That will REALLY hurt. Try to protect it from re-injury while it's healing. 

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

How is it this morning?

It's better this morning--no throbbing which was going to be my big indicator for whether or not to go into urgent care. In fact, not really hurting at rest, and I can walk on it pretty well. Painful to touch on the side and at the nail--I'm thinking it may be a nail injury. I'm going to do all the home-nursing and TLC stuff today--icing it now and it's elevated, I have neosporin on it for the skin opening at the nail base and a bandaid for padding, then a sock, and I will try to remember to wear my Birkenstocks around the house. Those have a good sole, but the big thing is they protect around the whole side of the foot and put no pressure on the toe itself. No aerobic activity for the next few days, then we'll see how it's doing.It will get a warm epsom salt bath tonight and I'm taking a mocha now which I'm pretty sure is the prescribed treatment.  Thanks for all the advice.

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