September 25, 2010

HELP-Opinions needed!

* Warning - this post is a little gross!
So, I've been sidelined a little bit.  You see, I have this crazy toe on my right foot that always bothers me after I run.  It is always sore to the touch after I run and is usually some shade of black and blue.  After my 18 mile run last week my toe was super sore.  Then, on Friday, I was walking behind my son when he stopped short in front of me.  I was wearing flip flops and somehow, my toenail got stuck on the back of his shoe and got pulled off a little bit.  OMG...I have never felt pain like that before!  It immediately started bleeding and I quickly put a band aid on it to help control the bleeding.  Friday night, my toe swelled up quite a bit and was throbbing with pain.  I took some Ibuprofen and was able to control the pain a little bit.

Fast forward to today.  This is what my toe looks like now.

 It is totally swollen and there is so much pressure behind the nail and on the nail bed.  Every once in awhile it oozes, which is really gross.  It hurts ALL of the time whether I am standing, walking, or sitting on the couch with my feet rested on a pillow.  








I asked my husband what he would do if a patient with my toe problem came to see him.  He basically said that I have two options.  1) Leave it be and let the nail fall off naturally, which it definitely will do eventually, but who knows how long it will take.  However, there is a risk of infection, and there is a chance that it could get caught on something again and ripped off.  OR 2) Numb the toe and have the nail removed.  This will stop the pressure and the swelling. We actually have all the stuff needed to do this at our house, so my husband could do it tomorrow if I wanted.  But, I'm scared.  

Here is where I need your help and opinions!  What would you do?  What should I do?  
Which choice do you think would have the fastest healing time?  Have any of you been in a similar situation?

I am kind of freaking out because I know I will not be able to run long with this toe problem and my marathon is in 3 weeks! I actually tried to run on it today and it was extremely painful.  And, because I was trying to avoid the toe pain, it was changing my running form which started hurting my left knee.  Ugh!!


HELP!! What should I do???

40 comments:

P said...

Oh, Aimee, I have absolutely no advice but a whole lot of sympathy for you!! That looks so painful, I really hope whatever you choose to do helps relieve the pain right away.

Cynthia O'H said...

My toe looked like that about a month ago so I'll tell you what I did.

I went to the podiatrist who wouldn't touch it because it was infected. So, I had to go to the doctor first and start meds. The doctor drained any excess puss by inserting a needle through the nail. But, the next day I was able to run on it.

I still haven't seen a podiatrist; the meds did the trick. The nail is falling off; a few more hundred miles and a marathon should finish it off.

Your toe does look infected; pain is usually a giveaway. See a doctor. Play it safe.

Diana Tries-A-Tri! said...

oh yowza! Well I guess if you wanna get back at it faster you could have him take it off for you. That does sound scary though. Yikes! I think that you should get a special prize when it's taken off or falls off though ... just for being a tough trooper! Hope it gets figured out, I have no personal experience with this!

Running and living said...

I am with Cynthia. I read about this when I had a similar issue (I have huge problems with undernail blisters), and used a needle to puncture the toe nail and drain the puss. Then I put lots of neurosporin on it and a bandaid. You'll be fine to run:)

Velma said...

I agree - go to the MD. Not that your husband isn't wonderful, but you don't want to risk infection. My friend had a small hole drilled in her nail and then she was AOK.

GOOD LUCK!!

Kathleen said...

I say see a Dr. Better safe then sorry, especially so close to your race. I have problems with one of my toes also and get the bleeding under my nail like you have. I haven't had it swell though and I haven't and the constant pain like you are having. If it were me, I would be calling the doc.

Java Joggers said...

Doctor!!! ASAP. And good luck :)

TiffersRunsTX said...

Get it removed, lady. It sucks, but it would be a more controlled (and far less painful, IMO) way of getting that sucker off. You would probably be able to get on your feet faster...better pain meds. ;) I wonder if you had an ingrown nail there before.

I remember my Momma telling me a story about her stubbing her toe and it looking similar to yours, then her father slowly and gently chiseled a hole in her toenail to relieve the pressure. Glorified cautionary tale.

sallyaston said...

I lost my 2 big toenails after IM last year. I actually had blisters under the nail. The podiatrist drained them and gave me the same option, I chose to just leave them to fall off. They sell special little toe covers in the band-aid section of Walgreens. It only took about a week for the skin to heal and about 2-3 months for the nails to fall off. Now they have grown back and look good enough for me to be able to get a pedi again! Good luck, I know how painful it is but I was amazed at how quickly the skin underneath hardens up to protect the area.

Regina said...

ok, I used to play soccer and I would always get a toe cleated by another player at some time or other and the blood would pool under my nail. Now, barring the existence of any already existing infection...I took a paper clip and a flame and heated the end of the clip. I then went about boring a tiny hole through my nail until I reached the blood and went completely through the nail (it takes awhile, but it will work). When I hit the nail bed the blood and puss oozed out of the hole and the pressure was released, the nail save.

Mind you, if you hubby is a doctor or some kind of medical professional then I would follow his advice; lose the nail. It will grow back.

Jon said...

Oh bummer! I have no idea what to do but I hope your toe heals soon! That looks pretty narley..

Julie said...

OUCH! No advice but lots of sympathy!

Ironman By Thirty said...

I'd go to the doctor. No way I could stomach having a toenail ripped off unless it was the absolutely only option.

I have a similar toenail. It doesn't rest flat like the rest of my nails and hurts after pretty much every long run. So far, nothing like this though.

Kristin said...

I would see if you can muster up the pain and let it fall off naturally. If it was sooner I would've had you light a paperclip and put it to your nailbed so you would have a hole for all the blood to escape. Hope you feel better!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Okay, this is not the popular opinion but is what I would do - rip the bitch off - Today! It will sting and hurt but it is better to get it over with now then having the irritation over the next few weeks. Screw going to an MD, just make sure to KEEP IT CLEAN. Neosporene needs to be your best friend. They (a doc) will do the same thing as you can do - it is a simple procedure an it always takes a few days to get an appointment. Also stay off of it for a few days and sleep with socks off and the wound open to the air - this will help it heal faster.

Now the real issue is why does this happen to your toe? What type of shoes are you wearing? This needs to be answered b/c it will happen again.

I had similar problems when I wore Asics. I switched to Brooks and have not had as much as a blister since. The toe box on the Brooks is a little larger than the toe box on Asics. Figure out your shoes!

misszippy said...

Oh OW!! I would get to a podiatrist asap. I'd be afraid to mess with it...you don't want to make it worse or end up with an infection. Good luck with it!

Caratunk Girl said...

Ow. I am with Jeff, I would rip off the darn thing. I know it hurts like crazy, but that is what I would make my man do. Poor guy.

The thing with the MD is that like Jeff said, they are going to do the same thing but charge you a lot of $$ and take a lot of time...and you will be in pain the whole time waiting. Just my thoughts. Good luck. Neosporin!!!

Niki said...

I say let your hubby take it off! It should heal faster once the pressure is relieved. Good luck!

Teamarcia said...

I have exactly the same toe condition but not the infection--which is what I think is causing your excessive pain. I've read about having a hole drilled in the nail to drain it and clear up the infection. Hope you get some relief soon!

almostveganblog.com said...

Yikes! I'm sorry to hear that! The same type of thing actually happened to me this year for the first time ever. Last New Year's Eve, I noticed my left big toe hurting, and just figured I stubbed it. By February, it turned black...by May-June, it started separating from the nail bed...and in July, on a date night with my boyfriend at a wine bar, when I was wearing a pair of 5-inch heels, my toenail somehow caught on the rung on the underside of my barstool, and it tore it right off my toe! It was left hanging by a thread, and I got blood all over my shoe AND the floor of this really classy wine bar...ugh! Matt had to nearly carry me to the car.
For a couple weeks afterward, every morning after showering I would peroxide it, then gingerly dab Neosporin underneath it, then wrap my whole toe with gauze and secure it with medical tape. Eventually, less than a month later, it fell off on its own, and by then a new nail had started growing in. It's about half grown, now. 9 months later!
ANYWAY, I was able to let mine do its own thing, but then again I wasn't having as much pain as it sounds like you're having. Could they drain the fluid that's causing the pressure without having to take the whole nail? I hope you find something that works, soon!

Christi said...

Damn that looks like it hurts. I would say go see a doctor!

Shannon said...

oh no! i'd get to the doctor asap! hopefully they'll be able to relieve the pressure and healing will happen sooner rather than later!!

abbi said...

Ouch! I've had toes that have looked like that but they never hurt that bad so I always just left mine alone...hope you get some relief to it so it can heal.

goSonja said...

Did you see my big toes after my 100 miler? They both had blisters underneath the nail. My doctor just burned a little hole in each nail (no pain) and drained them (lots of relief). I would do it again in a heartbeat before being in pain again. It's was a no brainer. the nails fell off 3 weeks later...within 4 hours of each other, and new nails...well, they still aren't quite back 6 months later.

Patrick Mahoney said...

I would have it removed. Contrary to popular belief there is no toenail fairy so if you wait for it to fall off and then put it under your pillow nothing will happen, except for the fact that a bunch of time was wasted.

Maybe you can get some sort of shot for race day if it still hurts...

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Go to the Doc. I have had black toes after marathons and some I let go naturally and some I have gone to the doc and they "pop" them off. Easy procedure and doesn't hurt too bad. The one you have.... let the doc "pop" it. I wouldn't let your hubby do it unless he have some really big pliers

Ryan said...

Been there, done that. Poke the blood filled area to drain it, releive the pressure, and that will help the nail fall off faster. Keep it clean or it's going to look a lot uglier... =)

Runners Fuel said...

I would numb the toe and get it over with, so you can run again. Sorry about the pain (and other stuff there). Ouch!!

Kevin said...

I had the same issue and I left it alone. Eventually another nail grew right underneath other old one. I was wondering why the nail got so thick till one day I noticed I had two nails. It was gross and painful. It took many months for this to occur. I would go to the doctor and have him relieve the pressure.

Kevin
http://halftriing.blogspot.com

funderson said...

take it off!! I have the same issue w/ the same toe and I wish there was a permanent toe nail removal option..

Scarlett Elliewood said...

This always happens to me. On both feet. Create a whole using a hot needle and then put some antibiotic cream on that baby. It's sad, I know. I used to have beautiful feet! Now I run and have to settle for this new kickass body ;)))

Julie -- "Hotlegs Runner" said...

This happened to my big toe but not because of running. It was because of ultimate frisbee! I just let it fall off and it took 5 months! =(

Hope your toe heels soon!

Colleen said...

Oh my gosh, that looks so painful! I don't have any advice but hope that it's getting better! :(

Krista said...

Ouch! I'm not sure what I would do but I think you should do something - either let hubby take care of it or go to see the doc. I think seeing the doc is probably best as long as you have decent insurance, but it sounds like lots of people have take care of this at home without issue.

Kirk (GottaTri) said...

I had the same issue while training for the Bayshore marathon earlier this year. Just trim it back as far as you can without causing more bleeding. It may fall off on its own. Once you get back to a SBR training schedule it'll grow back. It sucks, but its very common.

Anne-Marie said...

Yowww... that looks/sounds painful. I don't have any advice, but I hope it gets better!

chris mcpeake said...

nice toe. I got 4 or 5 of them that are almost just like that. Unless its badly infected just let it die and fall off. Dont pull it off. Infection = doctor

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

ohh turning stomach. I am so lucky to have never had the toenail issue, so I am no help...i hope it feels better soon though!!!

Jill said...

You gotta get that toenail off, you're going to feel so much better. As a victim of many lost toenails, I know when mine are gone, it's almost a relief. Don't worry, when you go to paint your toenails, you just paint the stub and it still looks cute in flip flops :).

btw, the pic on my blog you asked about is at Cherry Creek State Park - which is directly behind my house so I run over there constantly. THat pic is from last year when the leaves were a little more yellow than they are now...but they will be in a week or two. I was just up in the mts this past weekend where the leaves are so gorgeous. I'm going to post that here soon.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

OUCH OUCH OUCH!!!!!!! Knock on wood, I've never lost a toenail, so I haven't any advice, but would probably suggest going to the doc like the others! owwwwwwww. Good luck!