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Runner’s toe ( Subungual hematoma ), repetitive injury to toes seen in runners

turf toe

Runner’s toe, or subungual hematoma , is a repetitive injury to toes seen in runners.

Runner’s toe – This forms from repetitive pressure to the toenail, causing it to lift and as it rips the connective tissue holding the nail in place, the small blood vessels leak and bleed, filling the area under the toe with blood, giving it that reddish blue color.

A true subungal hematoma is much worse than a bruised toenail. The blood vessels are damaged to the point where the blood pools under the nail, causing it to lift up. This pressure building up in a closed compartment puts pressure on the many nerves under the toenail and can get extremely painful. If the pressure is not relieved , the toe can even become numb which is a sign of nerve damage. it is also a good culture medium for germs and can eventually lead to an infection.

Runner’s toe

How long does it take for Runner’s toe to heal?

 While the pain can often be relieved immediately by decreasing the pressure by draining the blood, it may continue to be sore for a couple days. However it may take as long as a year for the toenail to grow out and replace itsself .

Why do your toenails turn black?

 At first the blood under the toenail may look red, but as it oxidizes and get old, it turns black.

How long does it take for a bruise under the toenail to heal? It usually has to grow out which takes 6-12 month 

What is the black under my toenail? Usually it takes  a few months for a new toenail to start to come in under the old bruised nail. This may eventually push the old nail off. If it lifts up , you are at risk of catching it and ripping it.

Symptoms of Runner’s Toe

Runner’s toe typically develops gradually. Symptoms include: • A dark red toenail, generally indicating recent injury

  • A black toenail is an indication of past injury.
  • A loose nail
  • Pain
  • Blood clots
  • Stress under your toenail
  • A toenail loss
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty wearing shoes

Because it protrudes more than your other toes, your big toe is more likely to develop runner’s toe than any other toe. The first and second toes of soccer players frequently have runner’s toe. It’s typical to experience acute discomfort that makes being active difficult. This is typically brought on by pressure that has accumulated under your nail. Your toenail may even begin to lift off the nail bed as a result.

What are the most typical causes of runner’s toenail?

Runner’s toenail risk factors haven’t been particularly studied in study, although general running injury risk factors were covered in a review of papers published in 2015 by Trusted Source. Men were shown to be more prone than women to sustain running injuries, according to strong to moderate evidence.

  • The likelihood of future injuries was connected to a history of prior injuries.
  • The use of orthotics or inserts was associated with a higher risk of injury.

The following potential risk factors for women were discovered by researchers to exist:

  • Age
  • Previous athletic endeavors
  • Using concrete surfaces for running
  • Weekly mileage of 30 to 39 miles of running
  • Donning running footwear for four to six months.
  • Running more than 40 miles per week and between 20 and 29 miles per week

Risk factors for men

  • Only having recently started running.
  • Resuming a run after a break.

Signs That It’s Time To See A Doctor

  • The bleeding from the nail continues.
  • There are still signs of infection.
  • It appears like the edema and redness have gotten worse.
  • You observe that the nail’s base is broken or has a deep cut.
  • You observe fluid or pus oozing from the nail.
  • You feel a burning ache or heat in your toe.
  • You’re feeling feverish

Can you fix runner’s toe at home?

Runner’s toe, also known as subungual hematoma, is a condition where blood accumulates under the toenail due to repetitive trauma or pressure. While it may be tempting to try to fix runner’s toe at home, it is generally recommended to seek medical attention for proper evaluation and treatment. However, there are a few steps you can take at home to alleviate the discomfort and promote healing:

  1. Rest and relieve pressure

If you suspect a runner’s toe, it is important to rest and avoid activities that may further aggravate the condition. Minimizing pressure on the affected toe can help prevent further bleeding and allow the blood to be reabsorbed.

  1. Ice therapy

Applying an ice pack or a cold compress to the affected toe can help reduce swelling and provide pain relief. Apply the ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, especially in the first 24-48 hours after the injury.

  1. Elevation

Elevating the foot can help reduce swelling and promote blood circulation. Try to keep the affected toe elevated whenever possible, especially while resting or sleeping.

  1. Pain management

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Follow the recommended dosage instructions, and consult a healthcare professional if the pain persists or worsens.

  1. Protective footwear

Wearing comfortable shoes that provide adequate toe room and cushioning can help protect the affected toe and prevent further trauma.

  1. Monitor for signs of infection

Watch for any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, warmth, or discharge from the affected toe. If you notice these symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.

  1. Protection and padding

To prevent further trauma to the affected toe and minimize discomfort, you can use protective padding. Place a small piece of sterile gauze or a padded adhesive bandage over the toe to provide cushioning and reduce friction.

What should you do if you bruise your toenail?

  1. see a podiatrist

  2. trim it shorter so it doesn’t bang against the end of your shoe

  3. let the Podiatrist release the blood under the nail under sterile conditions

  4. get Xrays to make sure the bone isn’t broken

  5. apply topical antifungal for the next year as the new nail grows in so you dont get a fungus nail

  6. call the Dr immediately if you see red streaks or the toe swells or gets red

  7. Call Beaver Valley foot Clinic for a fake toenail for a special event