Does Jasper Daniel sound familiar, well, how about Jack Daniels? Jasper “Jack” Newton Daniel is the mastermind behind the well known Tennessee whiskey. After touring the distillery during a recent trip to Lynchburg, TN, I learned of an interesting bit of information in regards to Daniels’ life, specifically how he allegedly died. The common story says that when trying to get into his safe, Jack grew frustrated because he couldn’t get the safe open, prompting him to kick the safe with his foot. Jack never sought out medical attention for his foot injury. Eventually, he developed blood poisoning due to the injury and shortly thereafter passed away.
In today’s world of modern medicine it’s almost unbelievable to think someone could die from a foot injury; however, it is not uncommon for patients to ignore injuries that occur to their feet. It is very common to hear patients say “there’s not much you can do for a broken toe.” As much as this is true, there are always other facts you need to consider other than the broken bone itself.
For instance, whether you stub your toe, drop something on it, or kick a safe, a majority of the time the nail plate can be injured. When the nail plate becomes injured it usually traps blood beneath it leading to increased pressure and pain. If left untreated, this could develop into an infection. When a patient visits one of our podiatrists we can easily remove the nail in the office; therefore relieving the pressure and pain so your toe can heal faster. Have no fear; the nail will grow back! For more severe cases, there could be a small laceration under the nail which will definitely require immediate medical attention. Because tissue between the toenail and the bone is thin, a laceration underneath the nail can cause the bone to become exposed! If treated quickly enough these lacerations can typically be cleansed and sutured; however if left untreated for an extensive period of time, IV antibiotics may actually be needed to prevent further infection!
Treating a standard toe fracture that doesn’t affect the toenail is straight forward. Buddy splinting and ice is a must! It is always worth getting x-rays done so you can rest assure the fracture alignment is acceptable and that the healing is progressing as expected. At Healthy Feet Podiatry, we would also place you in a stiff soled shoe to help eliminate motion at the fracture site to decrease pain and expedite the healing process.