Bruised toe is a frequent occurrence, which is a closed injury with mechanical damage to soft tissues. Such injuries arise from a blunt-hit or due to a fall.
Most victims seek medical help in the summer, when the entire population wears open shoes, and, consequently, the limbs are more injured when they are hit or something falls on them.
What to do with bruises on the toes, if there is no medical center nearby? Let’s try to figure it out.
Signs and degrees of bruise
There are 4 severity of injury. At the mildest degree, slight abrasions may be present on the skin, but the pain is tolerable and does not last long, the toes of the foot heal quickly. Special treatment is not required here. A more serious injury is accompanied by hemorrhage and swelling of the toes, severe pain. The third and fourth degrees of bruises, resulting from a powerful blow, are considered the heaviest. Such injuries usually result in a dislocation or fracture. It is worth noting that a big toe injury requires special attention, since more time is needed to restore its functions.
What symptoms can damage accompany?
- pain – acute, sharp right after injury. Gradually, the pain subsides, but after a few hours due to swelling of the soft tissues, it returns;
- edema – appears in the form of swelling on the foot after 2-3 hours after injury;
- hematoma – occurs as a result of vascular damage. It may appear as a slight reddening of the skin if the toe is slightly bruised. Serious injury is accompanied by severe hemorrhage. In this case, the finger acquires a purple shade and swells strongly. All this can lead to nail rejection;
- movement is limited. Due to swelling and severe pain, the joint is almost impossible to move. But the ability to do this is saved (if there is no fracture), and as soon as the pain and swelling begin to subside, you will be able to move.
Or maybe it is a fracture or dislocation?
The first question that worries a person when he is faced with a foot injury: “How to distinguish a contusion from a sprain or a toe fracture?”. It is quite difficult to do this, because pain and stiffness in movement characterize any of these cases. Symptoms of injury, we have already considered.
Fracture and cracks are injuries with bone damage, and they have their own characteristics:
- acute pain;
- the thumb cannot be bent in the joint, cutting pain occurs when trying to stand on the leg;
- sometimes you can see the unnatural position of the phalanges, or hear how bone fragments crackle;
- painful sensations, if they did not seek medical help, do not subside in the following days, but only increase;
- a few days after the fracture, the edema of the tissues does not disappear, as in a normal injury, but remains or even progresses.
When you dislocate, you can notice the displacement of the finger in the joint.
First Aid and Diagnosis
Your first actions if you are injured:
- inspect the finger;
- take a position such that the foot is elevated;
- apply cold;
- if necessary, treat with antiseptic;
- fix with a bandage.
We will understand why all this needs to be done. After examining your limb, you will be able to assess the degree of damage and decide whether to go to the hospital or not.
If you notice damage to the nail or skin, be sure to disinfect these places to avoid infection. To give the injured leg a raised position is required in order to reduce the edema, as well as to create conditions for normal blood circulation. Check that the foot is soft and comfortable, it should be in a calm state.
A cold compress from ice cubes reduces 3 main problems – pain, swelling and hematoma, as it constricts blood vessels, and this helps to stop the bleeding. To avoid frostbite of the foot, apply ice, wrapped in a towel, for 10 minutes. Take breaks at 20 minutes and apply cold again. It is recommended to immobilize a damaged finger with a bandage in case of dislocation or fracture. Severe pain is removed with ointments: “Ketoprofen”, “Diclofenac”, or tablets: “Analgin”, “Sedaptin”, “Ketorol”.
It is almost impossible to distinguish a contusion from a fracture on the first day, so doctors perform an x-ray examination. The bone structure is displayed on the image. While maintaining the integrity of bone tissue, doctors will be able to eliminate the formation of a fracture. Dislocation will also be visible on the x-ray. But with a bruised finger in the picture there will be no changes.
What better not to do when bruised
Injuries always happen at the most inopportune moment. But despite this, try to just sit (lie down) and relax, take off your tight shoes and give your foot a rest. Continuing to perform active movements, you only aggravate the condition of the finger and cause even more swelling at the site of injury.
If the pain is tolerable, then it is better not to take painkillers. Especially if you are going to the examination to the doctor. Focusing on your feelings, the specialist will be able to quickly diagnose and prescribe the correct treatment. Moving the joint with your hands, let alone trying to set it right, is the work of the doctor, but not yours.
What you should definitely not do is to steam the injury site or apply a heating pad to it. There are people who like to grind, massage damaged areas – this is absolutely impossible, you can move a bone at a fracture, strengthen the hematoma and edema.
Methods for further treatment
In the absence of complications, the treatment of injuries to the toes consists of the following steps:
- drug therapy – anti-inflammatory and absorbable ointments, pain pills;
- physiotherapy – electrophoresis, UHF, magnetic therapy. This treatment contributes to the rapid resorption of hematoma and the restoration of damaged tissues. Warming procedures with the use of dry heat are allowed to be performed in about 3-4 days, when the swelling of the foot decreases.
Fracture treatment will depend on the location of the injury.
In case of damage to the big toe, a plaster cast is applied from the ankle to the end of the sore toe. The restoration of bone structures in this case lasts about one and a half months.
For the rehabilitation of any other toe of the foot, it will take a plaster splint and a little less time for tissue repair, 4-6 weeks. If the area of the phalanx has suffered, then it is only necessary to fix it with the adjacent healthy finger, using adhesive tape. However, before fixation, it is necessary to remove the formed blood from under the nail, if any.
It happens that not one finger gets hit. What to do if several toes are bruised and the leg is swollen? Symptoms indicate severe injury, when hematoma and edema go on to the foot. It is better to consult a traumatologist, take a picture and immediately begin treatment.
Many victims are also interested in what to do if a nail has been damaged when the thumb has bruised. First, treat the nail plate with 5% iodine solution or another antiseptic at hand. Apply a pressure bandage. Try to remove the swelling with a cold compress as quickly as possible. In order to reduce the hematoma growth area, speed up the healing process and reduce pain, treat the injured area with ricinol emulsion.
When the hematoma grows, it seems to burst the skin, resulting in nail rejection, and intensifies the pain with its pressure on the nerve endings. To relieve pressure, when treating a thumbnail bruise on the leg, the nail plate is punctured or it is removed altogether to release blood. This should be done immediately, until the blood has coagulated, turning to a medical facility.
Although the bruised finger seems like a minor problem, it should be taken seriously.
Well, if the injury is minor and will pass by itself.
But, having received a strong blow to the extremity, if the physicians refuse to help and the first aid is not fulfilled, complications may appear: osteomyelitis, panaritium, purulent inflammation. And complications are much more difficult and more painful. Remember this, take care of your health.