My Big Broken Toe – Photos for Friends

Recently I celebrated the 3 year anniversary of The Big Toe Break, or “compound fracture” as it’s medically called. I always thought a fracture was a crack, but now I know it’s a break. And a compound fracture means the skin was broken. Mine was definitely a compound fracture. I guess if you’re going to do something, do it all the way!

Freshly wrapped after my first follow-up visit.

Freshly wrapped after my first follow-up visit.

As I hit the 3 year mark for my little incident, I asked my FB friends who wanted to see the pictures again. Many of them had told me how much they’d enjoyed them the first time around, and I wanted them to have the opportunity to enjoy them again! Yes, I’m that generous! I received mixed responses from said friends, so my compromise is to post the photos here and let the brave look and the weak pass. I’ve made the photos thumbnail sized so the scary ones won’t jump out and poke you in the eye. Don’t open them if you don’t want to look! If you’re like me, though, you’ll be eagerly enlarging them. 😉

I broke my big toe a week after I tested for Shodan. Prior to my test I was tired and klutzy, so I was extra careful about anything I did in class. The week after my test I was still tired and klutzy, but was no longer wrapped in bubble wrap and wasn’t as cautious since the test was already over.

I was doing a leg sweep in Black Belt Class. You wouldn’t think throwing someone else would be trouble, but that’s how I broke my toe! I planted my foot behind my uke, Andy, then stopped to think about what I was doing, and after a few seconds continued with the sweep.

I really should have started all over again, but now I’m just Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

I’m not exactly sure what happened but somehow when I took Andy down I went with him. He jumped up and I rolled over and sat up on my knees. Kyoshi asked if we were OK. I said I was, but thought I jacked up my toe. It didn’t hurt but it felt a little funny. No big deal, or so I thought, until I heard one of the students behind me say, “Um, there’s blood.” Well, that got everyone’s attention, including mine!

Broken Toe

Newly broken and on the way to the hospital.

I wanted to turn around to see it but the other students were reluctant to let me look. Finally they let me turn around, but someone pulled my shoulders against their legs to support me. I certainly wasn’t prepared for what I saw!

Contrary to freaking out, I was really curious. I’d never seen anything like that in my life and I wanted to look at it more closely! I’m pretty sure I could work in an emergency room or trauma unit and hold it together. I wasn’t in pain, so I was more curious than anything.

Well, the guys only let me look at it for so long and then it was decided that a) I should stop bleeding all over the mats; and b) someone should take me to the emergency room. They wrapped my foot in paper towels, put a mat on the floor of a truck, and Uke Andy became Ambulance Driver Andy.

But before I would get in the car I insisted someone take pictures of my toe. (I learned that from another Black Belt who insisted on taking pictures of the gash above his eye before he went to the ER. See? The advanced students teach us more than just karate!)

After checking my crazy-level to see if I was serious, Kyoshi used my phone to take a few photos. Aren’t you glad? Personally, I think they’re pretty good shots and the color was quite vivid! I was even asked a couple of days later asking if the photos had been photo-shopped as an April Fool’s Day joke (I broke it on March 31st).

Well, long story still long, after a couple of delays due to “real” incoming traumas, I was put under and the doctor got to work. He put in a pin to hold the bone steady and a long stitch to close up the rip.

Broken Toe

After the stitch was removed. The pin had to stay in another week – the bone wasn’t healed enough.

The pin was in for a few weeks, the stitch not so long. I was in a boot for 6 weeks, which I did not enjoy. I blinged out my boot because it was ugly, and I became known at the podiatrist’s office as The Girl with the Blinged Boot.

Three years later, I have nearly full range of motion in my toe. It looks straight but it doesn’t bend all the way. I can tell when a storm is coming in by the ache. Sometimes it hurts after I work out on the mats. But for the most part, it’s more normal than I had hoped.

The podiatrist was amazing! Despite being pulled off the golf course to attend to me, he took great care of me. He told me, “You are one lucky lady!” I agree. Lucky to have an amazing podiatrist, lucky to be healed.

I’ll just leave these here. Enjoy!  😉

Broken Big Toe

I posted this to FB. Didn’t look so bad on my little phone screen but it grossed out more than a couple of people.  🙂 I didn’t realize you could see the bone sticking out!

Broken Toe (Compound Fracture)


Broken Toe - Waiting in the ER

Waiting in the ER. It didn’t hurt until the doctor stuck a needle in my toe to numb the pain.


Party in the ER! My son (sorry I ruined your golf plans!) and Karate friends.

Broken Big Toe - Healing!

After the pin was pulled. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

Broken Big Toe

Underside of the toe

Broken Toe - Follow up visit #1

First follow up visit when I got a look at the post-surgery toe. Pin and stitch still intact. So is my pedi! 😉

Broken toe in the boot (pre-bling).

Home, Sweet Home with my really lovely boot and a hospital sock!


Get Well Package from the Sisters

Get Well Package from my sisters made me smile!









Returning to the Scene of the Crime

In just a few hours I will be back on the mat at the hombu!

Although I’ve been working out with our karate club at the office, this will be the first time I’ve worked out on the mats in 7 months.

I admit I’m a little nervous. The last time I was at Black Belt Class I just about ripped my big toe off trying to throw someone. My toe has healed thanks to a great podiatrist (check out the picture!), and it’s time for me to work out on the mats again. If I don’t, I may never get back out there! Just the thought of getting my toe caught in the mat makes me cringe.  Ewww!

Broken Toe - It's healed! I did some drills on the mat at a recent clinic, but not a full, hard work-out. I noticed that I turned more slowly out of caution (and fear- ha!), and I may have developed a tendency to turn on my heel instead of the ball of my foot.

My plan is to take it easy, see how it feels, and try to do things properly, even if I’m slow.I’m not sure I’ll have a partner for self-defense drills, though – my last partner had to drive me to the emergency room. (Sorry, Andy!)

I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be, so tomorrow’s the big day. Fingers crossed that I don’t end up at the ER again. If I do, though, I’ll be sure to have someone take a picture before I go. Oh, and I have a fresh pedi in honor of the occasion – because you just never know when you’ll have a surprise toe surgery and can’t get a fresh paint job for a couple of months!