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Thread: Discolored big toe, possibly broken?

  1. #1

    Discolored big toe, possibly broken?

    As a quad in a big-heavy power chair, I have run my feet in the plenty of things. Somehow, my feet have always been fine. About a week ago, we took my shoe off in the evening to find two sizable bruises on the top of my big toe, and I hadn't hit my feet on anything all day! Go figure.


    The toe hasn't ever been swollen since discovering the bruising, and the bruising was transitioning to the gross yellow color in the healing stage. I figured something must have knocked my toes and bruised them, but hadn't caused more significant damage. I rode the FES bike twice this weekend, and the bruising is looking worse again.


    I'm taking time off of lower extremity exercise until I get it figured out. I was planning on elevating when possible, as well as icing/heating. Is there anything else I should try?


    Are broken toes always swollen? I assumed that since my toe hasn't been swollen, there is little likelihood of it being broken. Even if it is broken, I've read that broken toes usually get no treatment, just staying off the foot, and occasionally toes need to be set or operated on. Is there any reason I should go to the doctor for an x-ray to see if it's one of these occasions?


    Thanks for the advice. Happy New Year!

  2. #2
    Since you can not determine how this happened, I would recommend seeing your family physician. If it is broken, you may need to get it set. And it is helpful to know that it did break.

    In the meantime, use the keep anything that might cause swelling off the area - ie too tight socks, elevate it, ice it and you coud take motrin (or another pain reliever from the over the counter group) if you are having pain.

    ckf
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
    Update: I went to urgent care today to get an x-ray of the toe. It doesn't show any fracture, so just elevating and avoiding excessive pressure is recommended.


    I could have avoided going out in the frigid cold today, but it's still nice to know that things are in good shape. Thanks for the recommendations, CKF.

  4. #4
    Eyes, there's a place on top of my right foot between the third and fourth toes that almost always has a blue bruise on it, yet nothing touches that area except a shoe. I'm careful not to drop things on my foot or bang it into things. This has been going on for as long as I can remember, and my theory is that unequal pressures within my foot (brought on by deformities from paralysis) cause delicate capillaries to break. Maybe something of this kind is happening with your toe. I'm glad you had it checked out and nothing's broken.
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  5. #5
    Glad everything is ok.

    ckf
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  6. #6
    I got some bad bruising w/o swelling bc of ruptured tendons in my toes - doesn’t show up on xray and toes were basically floppy as heck beyond (below? distal to?) rupture point. Was able to avoid surgery &/or amputation beyond rupture point with unlikely sounding but very successful prolotherapy injections. Tendons now healed. Anyway, it’s a possibility to consider if you find your toes getting floppy in area where bruising was.

  7. #7
    That's good advice! I'll watch out for any strange floppiness of the toes. Strangely, everything looks completely normal except the bruising. There is no swelling, misalignment, or floppiness.

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