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Beware the Broken Toe!

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Four years ago, I had to undergo surgery for a hammertoe issue and a bunion issue. Both matters were on the same foot, thank goodness, but the after-effects of the procedure made life a bit challenging for a few weeks.

I had a pin in my foot and therefore could put no pressure on it. I had to use crutches all the time, or, in my case, I would crawl up and down the stairs at home. It was much quicker that way. Plus, I had three young sons who needed my help, as well. My foot finally healed. I tossed aside the crutches, and I told myself, “I am glad I had that done, actually.”

Fast forward three years. I am in a rather frantic mood, running late for a meeting I am to host. I am trying to get dressed. I race into my bathroom to get something, and before I know it, I am flat on my back with my left foot jammed into the baseboard. Some young boy, who shall remain nameless at this time, evidently spilled some water on the tile, and, in my hurry, I slipped in it and fell right onto my hindquarters, with my left foot as the brake. I am sure you can imagine the resulting injury. Yes, I broke the exact toe that the surgeon fixed just three years earlier. I was devastated.

I went to the podiatrist’s office to have my foot examined several weeks later. (I am the stubborn type!) The x-ray indicated that, yes, I put that specific toe back in the original position it was in prior to surgery, and I would have to have it fixed again. Alternatively, I could leave it alone until it really started to bother me. I chose the latter. My left foot has a toe wherein the top joint has forced its way up and over the lower part of the toe, recreating that hammertoe effect I had corrected three years ago.

Fortunately, broken toes typically are not difficult to treat. According to www.myfootshop.com, it is a good idea to have your toe x-rayed if you suspect you fractured it in an accident. The key ingredient to successful healing is to make sure that the fracture is aligned and shows good apposition. Without such alignment and apposition, the fracture will take much longer to heal, and it could quite possibly heal in a crooked fashion.

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Ouch! While I was sorry to learn that you broke your toe a second time, I do appreciate the information and advice. Since I live in a warm weather state I spend a lot of time barefoot without even thinking about possible toe injuries. You've inspired me to at least keep my flip-flops handy. Many thanks!

September 29, 2009 - 5:57pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.