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Damaged Toe Cartilage Slow to Heal

Question

Dear TAI Experts:

My husband ran into the wall and popped the cartilage in his big toe. The doctor said it would take about nine days to heal, but it has been 3 months and it is still hurting him very much. What can we do to help heal it?! We are at a loss.

Answer

Without examining your husband’s foot I cannot comment specifically on his condition, but in general the cartilage covers the joint and allows for smooth movement. However, when it is damaged it can limit full motion of the joint and create pain. Occasionally a piece of the cartilage can break off and float within the joint, so a referral for imaging may be a good idea at this time. The cartilage also has a poor blood supply, which means that it typically heals slowly. A visit to a local physical therapist for examination and creation of an individualized treatment plan can help decrease toe pain and improve motion.

Chris Fletcher, PT, DPT

Damaged Toe Cartilage Slow to Heal

 


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