Toe vs. Nightstand: Who would win?
One of my son’s favorite books is called Who Would Win? It opposes large predators against each other and compares their strengths. (The debate gets really intense when you pit the likes of Hulk against Superman!) So when we unwittingly throw our little toes into the arena against the night stand, the baseboard, or the coffee table, there’s usually a clear winner, and it isn’t us. We can hop, hop, hop off the pain and carry on, but what do we do when our toe loses badly and actually gets broken?
Here is an example. My patient was wearing flip flops while working around his house, a common enough scenario in Arizona. He accidentally kicked the baseboard and was left with a cheeky toe. Fortunately he didn’t ignore it, or try to make it out to be less than it was. He came in to his local podiatrist, we took x-rays and, you guessed it, a solid break.
How did we proceed?
A little numbing medication, a twist, and a pull, an audible pop, another twist, and we had a fairly straight toe. There was a little bruising, which is normal with any break.
Obviously he wanted to know how long it would take before his toe stopped hurting. That little toe may be small, but it emits some big pain when broken. We put him in a surgical shoe, splinted the toe so it would not pop out again, and three days later he had minimal pain, and could ween off the Tylenol. Depending on the severity of a break, recovery can take longer or shorter, but the first three days are usually the worst. Normal recovery for a broken bone to heal appropriately is anywhere between 4-12 weeks, depending on a person’s age.
So as you get up in the middle of the night, use caution, wear slippers, know the layout of your house, and maybe get a night light to prevent those painful occasions when your toe loses the battle.
Many thanks to Laura Stoddard for her contribution in editing this blog, she is the author of The Dreamosphere.