A crush injury to your foot causes local pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising. There are no broken bones. This injury takes from a few days to a few weeks to heal. If the toenail has been severely injured, it may fall off in 1 to 2 weeks. A new one will usually start to grow back within a month.
The following guidelines will help you care for your wound at home:
You may be given a splint, shoe, or boot to prevent movement at the injury. Unless you were told otherwise, use crutches or a walker and don’t bear weight on the injured foot until cleared by your doctor to do so. (Crutches and walkers can be rented at many pharmacies and surgical/orthopedic supply stores). Don’t put weight on a splint, or it will break.
Keep your leg elevated to reduce pain and swelling. When sleeping, place a pillow under the injured leg. When sitting, support the injured leg so it is level with your waist. This is very important during the first 2 days (48 hours).
Put an ice pack on the injured area. Do this for 20 minutes every 1 to 2 hours the first day for pain relief. You can make an ice pack by wrapping a plastic bag of ice cubes in a thin towel. As the ice melts, be careful that the splint, boot, or shoe doesn’t get wet. Continue using the ice pack 3 to 4 times a day until the pain and swelling go away.
You may use over-the-counter pain medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to control pain, unless another pain medicine was prescribed. If you have chronic liver or kidney disease, talk with your healthcare provider before using these medicines. Also talk with your provider if you’ve had a stomach ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding.
Keep the splint ,boot, or shoe dry. When bathing, protect it with a large plastic bag, rubber-banded at the top end. If a fiberglass splint or boot gets wet, you can dry it with a hair dryer. Unless told otherwise, you can take off the boot or shoe to bathe.
If your injury includes exposed cuts or scrapes, clean these daily with soap and water. Apply antibiotic ointment. Watch for the signs of infection listed below.
Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. Return sooner if you don’t start to get better within the next 3 days. If you were given a splint, it may be changed to a cast or boot at your follow-up visit.
If X-rays were taken, you will be told of any new findings that may affect your care.
Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:
The plaster splint becomes wet or soft
The fiberglass splint remains wet for more than 24 hours
Increased tightness or pain under the splint
Toes become swollen, cold, blue, numb, or tingly
Redness, warmth, swelling, drainage from the wound, or foul odor from a cast or splint
You can’t move your toes
The skin around the splint becomes red
Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
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