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Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:46 pm
by m@
So on new-year's eve I managed to knock the nail on my big toe partly off - still attached at the base so after consulting Dr Google I cleaned it with an alcoholic swab and applied a dressing (I was in a remote location so it was that or evacuation by chopper - which seemed a bit extreme for a broken nail ;) ). Went to the GP on the 2nd, she was happy with this treatment and told me the nail would fall off by itself, but referred me for an x-ray and prescribed antibiotics... However I've now visited a podiatrist who tells me the nail has partially re-attached and should've come off immediately. He's cutting it away piece by piece, revealing a nastily infected nail bed - way too gruesome for pics :shock:

On the upside, x-rays didn't detect any bony injury according to the radiologist's report, but the podiatrist is going to review them to make sure.

So in about a week I should have a blank canvas ready for the new nail, apparently this will take anywhere up to 18 months to grow completely; podiatrist warned me to expect a painful year... :cry:

Has anyone suffered a similar injury? Should I cancel any plans for cycle tours and enduro MTB events over the next year, or will the nail bed toughen up enough to wear bike shoes before the new nail has grown completely? At present I'm wearing thongs or sneakers with half the toe box cut away; anything that contacts the top of my toe is painful but that might just be the infection...

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:56 pm
by A_P
have done the same thing, different mechanism though.
the nail bed will become less sensitive in time.
:)

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:03 pm
by RonK
I've had a big toenail fall out after trekking, when my laces weren't tight enough on a long day of steep downhill trail.

It was a little sensitive at first, but grew back quite quickly, and didn't cause much inconvenience.

I can't really remember, but it probably took two or three months to cover over again.

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:08 pm
by foo on patrol
Can you buy a cheap set of shoes and take the top of you big toe area off on the shoe, if that is where the pressure will be? :idea:

Foo

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:36 pm
by stinhambo
My big toenails fall. Out every few tears with little suffering. Ingrown toenails are the painful ones to look out for!

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:57 pm
by grantw
I lost a toenail in my late teens, (dropped a crash cymbal on my foot packing up after a gig) after the initial recovery from the injury, it was fine as the nail grew back. Hardly noticed it.

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:02 pm
by greyhoundtom
Now IF you were one of the greyhounds I used to train, as they often ripped toe nails out, I could fix it easily by applying Betadine twice daily for 3 days to ensure there was no infection, and then about 6 coats of Hard As Nails.

Back racing in 7 days. :mrgreen:

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:10 am
by m@
Lol, that's pretty much what I've done, but still lame nine days later... does that mean I'm going to the farm? ;)

foo on patrol wrote:Can you buy a cheap set of shoes and take the top of you big toe area off on the shoe, if that is where the pressure will be? :idea:

Foo

Reckon I might give that a go if the podiatrist gives the all clear, I have an old pair of cheap Shimano SPD shoes that are about due for the bin anyway...

@stinhambo, I've had ingrowns before but this is another level of discomfort. I'm guessing that's courtesy of the infection... the exposed nail bed looks like the southern end of a northbound baboon :shock:

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:24 am
by foo on patrol
^^ :lol: :shock: ^^

Foo

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:03 am
by bychosis
Spd sandals? I have some, bought cheap off a mate who got the wrong size. They aren't great cycling shoes, they look terrible but toes poke out the front without damaging the shoe, keeps feet cooler for cruising in summer.

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:24 am
by im_no_pro
bychosis wrote:Spd sandals? I have some, bought cheap off a mate who got the wrong size. They aren't great cycling shoes, they look terrible but toes poke out the front without damaging the shoe, keeps feet cooler for cruising in summer.


Precisely what I was thinking. Beard and recumbent are optional extras of course :lol:

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:15 am
by Mulger bill
Sandals are out unless you can find some silk socks, knee length wool is just gonna chafe the bejabbers outta your baboon :P

Heal quick mate.

Shaun

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:44 am
by Strawburger
You should be fine. 18 months to grow back is a little long, perhaps 6-9 months unless you have a whopping big toe!

I played over 15 years of football (soccer) without toenails. Just when they would start to grow back they would come off again in preseason. No real pain even when 100 kg brutes would step on the toes, so cycling should be no dramas!

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:54 pm
by coffeeandwine
Similar issue with really arthritic toes, painful riding/walking until I (got Orthotics and) purchased new shoes for bike, work, casual and runners all with a WIDE fitting/bigger toe box (ie need to be EEE or EEEE). Sidi make a Mega fitting (EEEE) which gives ample room in toe box and no need to cut toe off shoe-check with Podiatrist.

Re: Riding after losing big toenail

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:12 pm
by m@
Well the old toenail is finally gone and infection dealt with, I can wear normal sneakers now without any discomfort so will probably be back on the bike in the next week or so. The podiatrist reckons tight footwear can cause the toenail to grow back deformed so will probably butcher the shoe even though the toe feels normal... Definitely not resorting to SPD sandals though - a man needs to have some standards! :lol:

I've learned two things:
1. Don't play soccer barefoot!
2. If you knock your toenail loose - it'll hurt less in the long run to just rip it out then and there.