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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.

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