Broken Phalange and Aircast - what is the approximate healing time?

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I have broken my left big toe (Phalange)and have been given an Aircast and told that I don't need crutches. I have also been told that I am allowed to sleep without the boot. I am wondering what people's experience is with Aircasts, recovery time, and quality of recovery. I am concerned that my toe will suffer from nonunion or malunion. It does seem to be perking up since breaking it ten days ago, so I'm being cautiously optimistic. Anyone have similar experiences?

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  • Posted

    Hello, I have broken both big toes!  Separate times but none the less... elevation and icing helped.  6 weeks to heal and then working in the range of motion.  Mine healed without any issues.  How did you break your toe?  Follow your doctor's instructions with the air cast.  

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. I broke it tubing down the river. The river was so shallow and my tube was tied to the tube with a cooler in it and it got stuck on the rocks. I shoved the cooler and both it and my tube lunged forward. I naturally braced my feet but because the water was barely a foot deep, I rammed my toe in between two rocks. Instant shock. Thought I must have ripped off my toenail. Toe throbbed all the way down the river and I could not walk once I was out of the water. Called Telecare and they said to go to the ER. Went the next morning. Dr was like "oh that's broken". I was meant to go to Portugal for a wedding yesterday but here I am - at home in bed with el toe elevated.

      The Dr said 3-4 weeks and I can travel. I'm hoping to salvage some of my summer holiday by two weeks time. I'm already 10 days in. It is starting to feel quite good. Swelling is going down and I have some movement. But it's really bruised. It was not dislocated and did not need reduction. It was just a straightforward break with no fragments or anything.

      Did you have an aircast? If so, were you walking with it? I used a cane the first few days but as the swelling went down and the pain lessened, I did not need it. I went to the mall yesterday and shopped a bit. I also bought Birkenstocks and I am wearing the right one with my boot. I feel more stable.

      Please share your experience! I am curious about recovery.

      Thanks.

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    • Posted

      Oh boy.  Nothing as exciting as you...  New Year's Eve and a powerful stub into a concrete block.  The second time riding a bicycle in flipflops - enough said =((.  I recall have a walking shoe and then a walking boot for the other injury.  Around 4-6 weeks I started wearing running shoes with a large toe box (Nike Max Motos) I had to limp a bit eventually my gait balanced and now both big toes are recovered.   

       

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    • Posted

      Simple fractures straight across.  They were bruised.  Icing and soaking helped.  Elevating helped.  Staying off the feet helped reduce swelling and heal the tissue so the bruises went away.
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    • Posted

      Ohhhhh! That second one, though. Well noted with the biking in flip flops. OUCH! I am horrified for you that this has happened twice! Can you tell me about your soaking and icing? Also, did you remove the boot when you slept? Am I being delusional by thinking I am getting the okay to travel on week three? So many questions!
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    • Posted

      With the walking shoe (a bunion boot) which was a piece of wood sole, canvas heel back with a shoe string tie.  I did not wear that one to bed.  The boot I wore for 3-4 weeks while sleeping.  Icing - baggies under and on top or soak the whole foot in a cooking pot with water and ice.  I think i used a turkey roasting pan.  It fit my foot better than a pot used to boiling noodles.  I think you should be able to travel on week three.  Don't overdo the walking and make sure that you elevate and ice in the evening before going to bed.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice. I just did a mini ice bath and my foot feels nice. The soft tissue is really bruised and sensitive. I did it barefoot.

      I have a couple more questions for you:

      1. Did you walk in the boot regularly and keep going about your day or did you have crutches? (I've not been assigned crutches).

      2. Did you ever take your boot off during your second break? My doctor said I can sleep without it on. When I take it off, the swelling decreses.

      Your advice is really helpful! Thanks so much!

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    • Posted

      Henpen, I have more questions.

      I'm on week two today. I feel like my foot is achy. The bruises are very slowly dissipating but that boot kills me when I'm sitting with my knee at a 90* angle. I'm looking everywhere online for ideas of what healing "feels" like and what sensations / symptoms are expected roughly as time goes on, but I'm finding nothing. Do you have any tips for this? Foot is still swollen. I can touch the toe no problem. It does hurt when I move a certain way, especially in the aircast. But I think it's generally okay. Is travelling in a week possible (week 3) or am I being dilusional?

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  • Posted

    Broke most of my toes when I was younger, big toes quite often, skating motor bikes and kicking football, I never had anything other than a wood splint and binding except when I kicked a step no shoes on and broke four bones and they just plastered it and left me to get on with it, it healed fine, nose breakers as well and fingers and one bone in wrist, I can understand now why, osteoporosis LOL didn't know till I did hip and pelvis.

    Years ago they didn't do so much.

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