Ankle and Feet Issues and Care Tips: A Podiatry Blog

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2 Complications That can Arise From a Stubbed Toe

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Stubbing a toe is something that everyone has experienced. It is an unpleasant sensation that can leave you in pain for an hour or two, but occasionally there are complications that arise from stubbing a toe. This is why, if your pain lasts for much longer than a few hours, it's important to have your stubbed toe checked out professionally at a podiatric practice. These are the two major complications that can occur after stubbing a toe:


If you are unlucky, the skin on the toe can break when the toe is stubbed, and this can lead to infection. This will lead to further swelling of the toe and discomfort.

There are times when you may not even see the broken skin because it exists underneath the nail. This can often happen when an ingrown toenail already exists and the stubbed toe leads to an ingrown toenail infection. Blood can collect under the toenail in this instance, leaving the nail to go black and blue, and the blood might need to be drained by a podiatrist.

In order to combat this, inspect your toe carefully after it is stubbed in order to look for any broken skin. Make sure that you clean up the toe and apply a plaster to any area that could be prone to infection.

Diabetics should be particularly conscious of when a toe is stubbed as they may not even feel it. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage in the feet and this means broken skin on a toe might not be detected without actually really examining the foot.


Stubbing a toe can also lead to osteoarthritis, a condition that involves joint pain and stiffness. It is usually old age that leads to a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, but a stubbed toe can also lead to osteoarthritis of the toe.

Actually, osteoarthritis will usually occur when a toe is stubbed more than once, because osteoarthritis tends to be caused by general wear and tear and the consequent breakdown of toe cartilage.

And, actually, osteoarthritis may occur years after the actual injury itself, so joint pain is something to be on high alert for and a good reason to visit book regular appointments with a podiatrist.

Again, this is particularly important for people with diabetes, because there may be no problem with your toe straight after you bash it, but months along the line, you could develop osteoarthritis and not feel it because of the nerve damage associated with your condition.