Toe Injuries



Toe Arthrodesis: The medical procedure (also known as ankylosis) which fuses the joints between two toe bones. The operation eliminates movement of the joint and is usually done to eliminate pain caused by toe arthritis or past injuries. Suffered of hammer toe also sometimes require arthrodesis in more advanced cases.

Toe Arthroplasty: An operations that generally involves the doctor inserting a miniscule camera into the injured toe joint to identify the problem. Once the joint has been analyzed the next step is to treat the injured toe which done by either cutting away inflamed tissues and outgrowths and sometimes inserting an implant to help the toe to continue to function. Arthroplasty is generally effective for early stages of toe arthritis or severe cases of hammer toe.

Hammer Toe

Hammer Toe

Hammer Toe: Usually caused by be wearing too short or too narrow shoes, hammer toe occurs when the toe is forced into an unnatural bent position. The muscles and tendons within the toe actually tighten and shorter causing the toe to appear deformed. This most commonly affect the toe beside the big toe and can require medical attention.

 

Podiatrist: A doctor who specializes in the care of treatment of people’s feet.

R.I.C.E: Stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation which are some of the common steps to help prevent an injury from cause more pain than necessary as well as expediting the path to recovery. If a toe injury is minor or your treating any toe pain at home, these are great steps to take.

Subungual Hematoma

Subungual Hematoma

Subungual Hematoma: Occurs when blood pools beneath one’s toenail and causes extreme toe pain for the person with the injury. Although the condition is generally non-serious the injury can cause problems relating to movement and foot comfort. Subungual hematomas usually require medical attention to drain or treat.

 

Toe Casting: As with broken arms, legs or other limbs, toes can also be casted when broken or if the sprain or dislocation is severe. A protective layer composed of plaster, plastic or even fibreglass is carefully molded to protect the fractured toe joint and allows it to heal with minimal interruption.

Toe Buddy Taping

Toe Buddy Taping

Toe Buddy Taping: This is the act of taping an injured (usually fractured) toe alongside a healthy one. The wrapping is usually relatively firm as it’s designed to keep the injured toe from moving and causing any toe joint pain. The damaged toe essential relies on its healthy neighbour as a splint in order to limit movement and allow the toe to heal in a natural manner.

 

Toe Dorsal Surface: Referring to the top plane of the toe.

Toe Plantar Surface: Referring to the bottom of the toe.

Toe Reduction: Either open or closed reduction is the process of resetting a toe joint into its proper alignment. Closed reduction does not require any surgery and usually just requires toe rehabilitation or external techniques. Open reduction on the other hand requires a podiatrist or other professional to operate on your foot to return it to its normal state.

Turf Toe

Turf Toe

Turf Toe: A severe sprain that affects the tendons in the toe. Both dorsal and plantar surfaces are inflamed and the toe generally swells up and becomes very red as well as sore to the touch. It’s cause is generally related to sports and is usually felt when the toe is jammed against the inside of a shoe. The name “turf toe” comes from the fact it usually affects athletes playing on turf.

Toe Gout: Gout is a condition where increased level of uric acid in the bloodstrem lead to crystals forming around joints, tendons and tissues. The crystallization causes acute inflamamtory arthritis that appears on a recurring basis. Toe gout attacks leave the patient with a swollen, tender and extremely painful toe joint.

Tophi

Tophi

Tophi: Typically associated with toe gout, tophi (or tophus being singular) are the collections of monosodium urate crystals around one’s joints, cartilege, bones, tissues or other body parts. Tophi continue to grow in size if one’s uric acid levels are not lowered and can push themselves through the skin as the deposit continues to grow. This with a history of gout can sometimes develop chronic tophaceous gout; which is the accumulation of tophi deposits that usually occur usually after 10 years of gout attacks.

Mallet Toe: As with hammer toe, mallet toe is often caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes. The injury is diagnosed by recognizing if the top most joint of the toe is completely bent and locked in place. Hammer toe occurs when the middle joint forces the toe into an unnatural downward curve, mallet toe is the same, except with the upper most joint.

Claw Toe: Claw toe appears when the first joint of the toe is bent upwards followed by the remaining joints being forced downwards. Wearing shoes that are too small is the leading cause of this affliction as the most flexible part of the foot curls to fit into the cramped shoe. Claw toe is similar to hammer toe and can become a permanent deformity if not treated.

Hallux Rigidus: Literally meaning stiff great toe, this form of toe arthritis applies to all form of degenerative arthritis on the big toe. The disease is also known as great toe arthritis or big toe arthritis. Toe arthritis is usually either classified as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.

Toe Corn

Toe Corn

Toe Corns: These bumps are patches of dead skin that accumulate on the knuckles or joints of ones toe. Commonly spotted on the pinky toe, toe corns are usually caused by friction, pressure or irritation (or all of the above). They can be classified as hard or soft depending on the firmness of the corn. The disease can also effect the sole of the foot or the side of the toes depending on the symptom and leading causes of the corn formation.

Toe Bunion: A toe bunion occurs when the cone or tissue around the big toe joint becomes enlarged and eventually deformed. The lumpy appearance is partially caused by swelling in the big toe joint as well as a literal tilt in the first bone of the big toe.

 

 

7 Responses to Toe Injury Glossary

  • John says:

    What kind of doctor should I see about lingering foot pain after a toe injury a few weeks ago? Are podiatrists the only kind of foot doctor or are there other specialists I should consider seeing?

    • Toe Doc says:

      Hi John,

      There are other specialists besides podiatrists such as orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons (MDs) as well as chiropodists. Chiropodists have different meanings worldwide, in Canada for example ti’s challenging to tell the difference between the degrees whereas in the US, chiropody was left behind in favor of a longer degree that was podiatry. You can also visit a GP or sports doctor depending on the injury. Sometimes diagnosing an injury accurately comes down to how familiar the doctor is with that injury in particular. You may also want to try flushing out more of the symptoms yourself to see what course of action you should be taking.

      ToeDoc

  • Sydney says:

    Same with me, but it has been purple and swollen for four months

  • Melissa B says:

    Hi
    I’m a high school senior and i play competitive tennis and one day I was playing, stepped funny and felt a pop in my toe joint. it wasnt severe pain but it felt really funny, like my foot was unstable and like the joint was mushy. I stopped and iced it and kept playing on it the next few days. the more I played it
    began moving up my foot and turned purplish at the joint and center of the foot. it was also fairly swollen and hurt at the top and bottem of the arch and toe joint. I went to the doctor and he said he thought it was just tendinitis based on a physical exam and clear X-rays and told me two weeks in a walking boot with ice and anti inflamitories. it’s been two weeks and my toe only feels slightly better and sometimes keeps popping in the walking boot. it hurts most to pull the toe to the side and plant on the inside on my foot as to push off of it sideways ( a common tennis move). Ive also had turf toe and it doesn’t feel the same. any suggestions?
    thanks!
    Melissa

    • Toe Doc says:

      Hi Melissa,

      It sounds like a dislocated or sprained toe at first, but based on the fact that you’ve already had turf toe I’d be more likely to side with your doctor and assume the injury is tendinitis or a stress injury based on use of the toe. Although the human foot is quite flexible in its ability to adapt to the environment repeated tennis moves are not what the toes are used to. Stress injuries from over use or putting pressure in unusual areas can cause injuries such as yours. You may want to seek some therapeutic healing mediums such as massage, active release or acupuncture. Additionally resting, stretching and relaxing the toe will all help to limit the pain.

      ToeDoc

  • Talia says:

    Hello
    i am a dancer and this summer i did a big jump and landed right on the top of my big toe, and it hurt for a while and wasn’t able to walk straight. It got better over time but a couple days ago i did another leap/jump and landed on it again. it didn’t really hurt but now when i move my big toe it always pops. i dont know what is wrong with my big toe.

    • Toe Doc says:

      Hi Talia,

      Is the popping painful? If not than it’s likely just synovial fluid moving through the joints. If the cracking bothers you and is painful than you may have sprained or strained the toe lightly. Some of the ligaments or tendons may be inflamed.

      ToeDoc

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