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Injured toes - OOPS!

Hi All

I'm a few months into my training and had a silly accident on Saturday.
Went and dropped a cast iron garden parasol base (in the box) on the toes of my left foot!! :x

I was wearing a soft running shoe so I guess at least my toes had a bit of cushioning.

I can see the funny side now, but was not a happy bunny Saturday with thoughts of abandoning my quest :cry:

Two of my toes (the two next to my big toe) are bruised and swollen. :cry:

I went to A&E and was told they don't bother with X Ray for toes - just strap them up and let them heal. I am not sure if they are broken or fractured and I guess i may never know.

I am walking reasonably well but my question is how long I should rest it before I get walking distances again :?:

My camino is from Triacastela (or maybe Cebreiro) in early Sept so I guess I still have plenty of time :?:

I am well optimistic and don't consider myself beaten yet !

Any help or advice greatly appreciated

Buen Camino

Dear Andy,

I assume that your toes were not displaced by the injury (leaving them off at a strange angle), and that only the toes (ie not your forefoot) were injured - in which case you should have healed fully in the time for your Camino. Broken toes, fingers and ribs that aren't displaced and are otherwise uncomplicated, are not X-rayed, because it doesn't affect the way they are treated. This is because there are very strict rules about exposure to radiation enshrined in law - but it also gives us clinical staff the opportunity to say 'ha ha ha - there's nothing we can do about it...go home".

I'm only kidding about the last bit, honest.

The treatment is rest, ice, elevation, anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen, if you can take it), and 'buddy strapping' - or taping with fabric or other medical tape (always with gauze or cotton wool between the toes to stop the skin chafing) to the adjacent toe. Do this as often as required (when the tape gets wet or grubby) and for as long as the toes are painful (most people give up after a week or two). Wear good supportive shoes, and they should be healed in about 4-6 weeks.

You can't really do any harm by walking on them, but be guided by the pain - once you can walk without acute pain, then start building up your training again - and ease off if it returns.

I know how painful the little sods are, so I sympathise!

Best wishes,



Active Member
Hi Andy,
I agree with all Pip says. I also broke two of my toes last year sometime - the best thing I found was "buddy strapping" as Pip describes. I did it 24/7. My doctor told me the more I can keep them supported and still the quicker they will heal. The break takes about 6 weeks to heal, but also remember the tissues has been injured as well so look after that with the regime Pip prescribes.
You will be fine when you go in September if you do everything you can now. I find, after all this time, my toes will twinge occasionally but don't have any problems walking. They seem to be a bit of a barometer for me because they give a twinge when the weather changes. :D
Buen camino. Jane
Dear All

A big thank you for the advice

The buddy strapping is in progress and I am on the mend !

thanks again

Buen camino


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