Nail Trauma

Man how it hurts when you drop something on your toe! I did that very thing before this past Christmas. It hurt so bad that I fell down and held it for a while. It hurt for weeks. The nail didn’t fall off, although it can do that depending on how bad it’s damaged. I got a radiograph (X-Ray) of the area and nothing was broken. I hobbled along for a while until it stopped hurting. This took many days before I was able to pull on my socks and shoes, and get around without noticing that it still hurt.

That was 4 months ago and I still have a reminder of the event. By the way, I was helping out with Christmas preparations and as I was getting a roast out of the freezer I dropped it right on my left great toe. “WOW” that hurts.  So after 4 months I have a dark patch in the center of the left great toenail and there is a very noticeable ridge in an arch running from the left to right side of the nail like a trench in the nail. This trench is called Beau’s line and can be caused by trauma or significant disease in the body. The dark spot is blood that pulled under the nail from the blunt trauma. As the nail grows out, it moves with the nail and eventually it will grow out long enough that it will be clipped off.  The trench, or grove in the nail, is also from the trauma. This damage caused the nail to not grow normally for a long enough time and it left a mark (like a time stamp) in the nail. This will also move out to the end of the toe as the nail grows and will be eventually clipped off.

I should not have any long-term damage to my nail, but trauma can be severe enough to cause permanent deformity to a nail. Infections, psoriasis, heart disease, lung diseases, some cancer treatments and many other conditions can be seen in nails.  Often we are the first to see systemic conditions and get patients help by the appearance of their nails.

If you have any problems or concerns about your feet and ankles stop in or give us a call. It should hurt to walk. Let us help.


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