- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
"I broke my toe . . ."
Personal stories and videos about toe fractures
This is a photo of my left foot, taken April 27th, 2010. Notice how the fourth toe is pointing in a different and unnatural direction compared to the other digits on my foot. I broke my toe, and it's not the first time this has happened to me.
So I decided to make this web page dedicated to first hand accounts of broken toes. Misery loves company, I guess.
So here's how I broke my toe
The story of my left fourth toe fracture
I'm a fast walker. On the morning of April 27th, 2010, I was walking through the dining area of our house when my foot collided with the leg of a heavy dining-room chair. It hurt a lot, and the first thing that came to my mind was that I really hoped it wasn't broken. I tried to go on about my business, but I could tell that the pain was increasing instead of decreasing (that's always the tell-tale sign for me). I hadn't actually looked down at my foot when the accident first happened, but I finally looked down and saw that instead of pointing north, my fourth toe was taking a detour to the northwest.
My 10-year-old son was nearby, so I used it as an opportunity for some homeschooling. Here are the points that were covered:
- He got to see what a fractured toe looks like.
- We talked about how bones heal, why casts are helpful and how fractured toes are treated by taping the broken toe to its neighbor.
- I explained the idea of medical triage - how if Mommy went to the Emergency Room, she might face a long wait because dying people take priority over people with broken toes.
- This experience also reinforced something we already knew. JG's destiny in life will probably not be the practice of medicine. He couldn't watch when I got to the point of actually taping my toe.
- I'm limping around the house now, but still taking care of business. I'm telling myself that this also counts as teaching important values of courage and not feeling sorry for oneself, as well as the value of not being a klutz.
A one-question quiz
view quiz statistics
Poll - Have you had a broken toe?
Have you ever had a fractured toe?
Some broken toe videos
Yes, there are a lot of broken toe videos on YouTube. Hear some other victims share their stories.
(Just so ya know, there are some other entertaining toe fracture videos that I couldn't use here because they include words that you can't say on TV. I also stayed away from the ones where the toe-breaking incident happened on camera.)
Spiritual lessons from a toe fracture?
There are some healing traditions that encourage us to look at any physical or emotional health problem and ask ourselves, "What in this problem could be beneficial and healing for me and for the world?" So how about a broken toe? Is there anything in it that can make me or the world better?
Lesson of the broken toe: Slow down and be more aware.I was reading a blog post where the blogger had a history similar to mine -- she has had numerous toe fractures. She said that breaking a toe is a message to her that she needs to slow down and pay more attention.
I can definitely relate to that. As I said at the top of this page, I'm a fast walker. If the lesson for me is to take things slower and be more attentive to my surroundings, the broken toe causes this to happen immediately because I have to walk slowly while it's mending.
The fracture has also made it necessary for me to tell my children to be more attentive. My kids have a habit of stepping on my feet and barely noticing it. Sometimes I would complain about it and sometimes I wouldn't. But now it's imperative for me to tell them to be careful of Mommy's feet.
A broken toe music video!
When I was a kid, I remember hearing someone joking on TV that if a country singer broke his toe, he would write a song about it. Well, one of the members of the southern gospel group Gold City broke a toe, and his bandmates wrote a parody song and made a video about it. Here's "God Bless My Broken Toe" by Gold City.
Why I don't go to the doctor for broken toes anymore
Once you know how toe fractures are treated (it's officially called "buddy taping"), you don't so much see the point of going to the ER (possibly with children in tow), paying a co-pay, and waiting to be seen just so that they can do something you could have easily done at home.
I've never had a fracture that included broken skin or bruising, so I have been comfortable with assuming the risk of self-diagnosis and self-treatment. But I'm not taking responsibility for anyone else's decision
Buddy taping a broken toe - Elizabeth tapes Eben's broken pinky toe
This video shows how simple buddy taping is.
Basic facts about toe fractures
Here's a detailed article about causes, treatment, and prevention of broken toes:
© 2010 Joan Hall