Smashed Toe

Updated on March 01, 2011
M.E. asks from Woodbridge, VA
11 answers

Hi Tuesday evening, the drawer full of silverware fell on my left big toe. I went to the emergency room...was only in there for like 20 minutes before they sent me home with a little shoe, a bag of ice and a note that said it is believed my toe is fractured. Hurt like heck that night and the following day...but now it's's just the nail that irritates me. My friend had the same thing but a vase fell on her toe and hers isn't fractured, but she said she had to drain it. That's why mine feels good now, because I drained it (I know gross right, sorry!) Anyways, she said eventually the nail would fall off (I'm so dreading!) Has anyone had this happen? As of right now, (sorry it's gross) I can lift the nail...and move it around...not lift it all the way, but just enough to move it. Do I let it take its course and just fall off or can I "help" it? I'm more into just letting it fall off, but it hurts to walk on it now because I guess it is loose...I don't know. I hate the whole thing and want my toe back!

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for all your comments and advice. I'm leaving it alone. It doesn't hurt to walk on it least during the day...but the nail is annoying. It's looking like a ghost now so I guess it's preparing to say goodbye :( Thank you though!

More Answers



answers from Honolulu on

DON'T pull it off.
Let it fall of naturally and the new nail will grow along with it.

Put a Band-Aid on it to prevent it from getting snagged/pulled off and keep it stable.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

Don't pull it off-it will come off when the new one has grown out sufficiently!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I'm so sorry, M.. That happened to my sister. Just let it come off on its own. If the pressure is too great, draining it will help. And yeah, it's gonna hurt.

Wear that 'shoe' so you don't kick something and end up over the moon in pain.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

When I was a teenager, I stubbed my toe and really injured it. Same as with you, it hurt really bad and I knew that the nail would probably eventually fall off. Other than bandaging it for a while and putting neosporin on it, I didn't mess with the nail and it eventually fell off on its own without any pain -- in fact, I don't think I even noticed it falling off, just that it had. I think you should give your toe the TLC it needs but try not to play with the nail. It will come off when it is ready to.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

let it run it course or it wil hurt worse. a broken toe is hard to walk on for 3 or four days then it gets tender but bearable. I couldnt put a shoe on for about 4 days. dont baby it walk on it yes i know it hurts but the more you baby it the longer its going to hurt. kinda like telling a kid in baseball to walk it off or it will stiffen when hit by a baseball same idea

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

It took me about six months or more to regrow my big toenail after dropping a giant coffee mug on it. My husband made me sit for hours with my foot up icing it on and off when it happened, then the toenail turned black, sometimes blood seeped out, and then when I lifted it I got pus. That was when I actually lifted and cut away the nail (with sterile tools!) and cleaned the whole thing really well. I preferred having everything exposed to heal and prevent infection, but I never went to the doctor's for it.

No matter what you do, it will just take time to get your nail back. I thoroughly enjoyed painting my nails the summer AFTER it happened because I actually had one there. So, if you don't mind leaving it, leave it. I personally hate leaving things like that. =)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I dropped a TV on my toe and it was awful. My nail turned black. It started getting loose and was gross! Like a floppy loose tooth, it drove me nuts! I tried "helping" it...and I don't advise it!
You have to let the flesh under the nail heal up, and as it does, the nail will get looser and looser. It will eventually come off by itself. I actually tugged too hard and tore the skin and it was horribly painful! Then I had that wound to deal with.
Get as much air to it as possible, but keep it covered loosely so that it won't snag or get caught on something and wrip off.
My nail grew back in just fine, not deformed or anything. It took a little while, but once that skin heals up, it's not so painful during that process.

Good luck and best wishes.


answers from Houston on

This just happened to my son. It will turn all purple. Do NOT remove the toenail... otherwise you will expose the extremely sensitive skin underneath and it will be very painful!!! Wait for your new nail to grow under it and the old nail will fall off when ready. Put a little band aid around it for now to help it not get snagged and rip off. Just be sure to keep it clean and let air get to it every now and then.



answers from Washington DC on

This happened to me as a kid, only it was my thumb that I slammed in a car door. I agree - better not pull it off - that may make it bleed and I'm sure cause more pain. It will come off when it's ready. When you walk, try walking on the heel of your foot so you don't put pressure on your toe.



answers from Washington DC on

Let it fall of naturally. It is healing as it comes off and the skin is really sensitive under it. I so hated it but the nail did grow back, eventually. Good luck.



answers from San Francisco on

I was quite young but I pinched my finger in the swingset. I remember the nail fell off and the skin underneath was really tender in a wierd sort of way (think nails on a chalkboard nerve endings sort of thing). I think since it was my finger it was easier to protect and it didn't hurt as much as it felt wierd. I'm wondering how your toe will be though as you'll want to keep things off of it? Maybe a bandage will work? You probably should let it just fall off or to the point that you don't have to intervene too much. It will it will help if it is there as the new nail grows underneath and protect that sensitive skin that is used to being covered.

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