Toes are underrated appendages, to say the least. Unless you’ve spent the day in ill-fitting shoes or made contact with a table leg, you probably don’t think too much about your toes. But once your toes suffer injury, you need to give them some attention.
If you’ve injured your toe, it’s in your best interest to have a specialist take a look at it. Podiatry Hotline Inc. in Mission Viejo, California, is a leading specialist in care of the feet, including the toes. Dr. Thomas Rambacher specializes in both surgical and non-surgical solutions to ease the pain from a toe injury.
There are many ways in which you can injure your toe. From stubbing or jamming your toe to common, yet painful, sports-related injuries, your toes are exposed to countless threats throughout your busy life. You can sustain serious injury to your toe, or toes, and you may not suspect a thing. But left untreated, an injured toe can lead to complications for many years to come.
Common toe injuries and complications
Stubbed toes are pretty common, and bruised nail beds are the bane of the runners’ existence. A stubbed toe isn’t always cause for concern, especially after the pain subsides. The bruised runner’s toe often goes away when you replace your ill-fitting shoes. But healing from some toe injuries may not be that easy.
Here are some of the most common toe injuries and why we think it’s necessary that you see Dr. Rambacher to assess your toe injury:
Broken toes can cause some serious pain. Typically the result of traumatic injury to your toe, a broken or fractured toe can also be the result of repetitive movement, as in sports.
Often passed off as “just a bruised toe”, a broken toe can lead to some complications. Left untreated, a broken toe can become infected deep within the bone, which can lead to swelling, pain, and loss of range of motion. In some severe instances, it may become necessary to amputate the toe.
Other complications from an untreated broken toe can be compound fractures from repeated stress, which can cause the bone to actually protrude through the skin and raise the risk for infection and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that can cause pain, swelling, and a breakdown of the cartilage.
As you age, your untreated broken toe can limit your mobility and cause generalized foot pain, making it difficult to walk.
Usually an athletic injury, turf toe is a serious sprain resulting from repetitive overuse of the toes, specifically the big toe. Pushing off with the toes, running, and jumping — as is common in football, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, dance, and wrestling — can cause your toe to repeatedly jam into the joint. Left untreated, turf toe can become severely painful and, in some cases, may require surgery.
A dislocated toe can affect your gait. You may walk differently because the dislocation involves your ligaments and tendons, which can lead to further injury, not only to your toe, but your foot and leg as well.
Nail bed injuries
A bruised nail bed can result from dropping a heavy object on your toe and can cause a blood clot to form under the nail. This type of injury can also result in a cracked nail or nail bed avulsion, which is when your nail and nail bed are pulled away from your toe.
All three of these types of injuries require medical attention. Left untreated, a nail bed injury may result in deformity or permanent nail loss, or may expose your toenail bed to a fungal infection.
Never ignore a toe injury
It’s always in your best interest to get a thorough examination after a toe injury. Next time you smack your toe, drop a can of tomatoes out of the pantry, or dislocate your toe while kicking a soccer ball, have Dr. Rambacher take a look.
Contact Podiatry Hotline Inc. today to prevent any further damage to your not-so-underrated appendage.