swollen big toe joint / 6 months and counting !! ;(

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swollen big toe joint / 6 months and counting !! ;(

Postby JarG0n » Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:02 pm


I take Shaolin-do in Lexington KY. About 6 months ago during sparring, I did a front kick directly into someones bent knee, which turns out to be amazingly hard.

This hyperextended my right toe, which caused a loud pop. Turns out I fractured the big toe bone, but that is now healed, and the least of my worries. The swelling for the big toe joint (attached to the foot) is persistent, and does not appear to be getting any better. Immobilizing it for 2 weeks seemed to help some, but now that I'm off, it doesn't appear to be getting any better. I can now walk on it without limping, or any pain, but I still have limited range of motion, which I can fix myself long term by stretching. While much of the swelling has subsided since the initial injury, I'm still concerned that 6 months later, I still have some. I'm taking bromelain, which is supposed to inhibit swelling, but doesn't seem to be getting rid of it. I don't want to take anti-inflammitory drugs, period.

Let my lesson here tell the rest of you, be careful with your front kicks, as your toes won't be as forgiving as the side of your foot! I'm sticking with side kicks.

The physicans assistant that wrote this evaluation indicated it may never go away, however the M.D. said it should only take 2 - 3 weeks to go away. It never has to date.

Does anyone know what I can do to get the swelling to go away, and get this healed? I wonder if it is safe to back to classes, and sparring in general.

Below is the physical examination note I obtained for my instructor for when I go back.


The patient has limited range of motion of extension of the right great toe. He has no tenderness to palpatation in the bony or soft tissue aspects. He can fire the flexor an dexternsor tendons with good strength with no pain. There is no discernible lexity of the medial, lateral or collateral ligamnets of the interphalangeal joint or the metatarsophalangeal. There is no tenderness to palpation of the sesamoid bones. There are +2 pedal pulses and +2 capillary refill. There is full sensationi. The patient walks with a non-antalgic gait.


Three views of the right foot shows what appears to be an avulsion off the anteromedial corner of the distal 1st metatarsal. No other abnormalities are seen on x-ray.


Right foot fracture with questionable ligamentous involvement.


I offered the patient MRI vs. immobilization and rest. We will attempt rest first with a postop shoe. We will see him back in 2-3 weeks. If he has persistence, we will consider MRS vs PT to start some immobilization activities. We will keep him out of sparring activities for now.

That was on 10/25. To date, the swelling has not gone down any, and I still have some joint popping, and limited range of motion. Can anyone offer any advice, or will I really have to live with this injury for the rest of my life? The M.D. didn't seem to concerned about it, as I am able to move it well, with no pain at all.
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Postby citrus538 » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:11 pm

Have you gone back to see the doctor again?
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Postby JarG0n » Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:30 pm

[quote="citrus538"]Have you gone back to see the doctor again?[/quote]

I've not gone back yet since I last posted this. Swelling still persists still a year after the initial injury. I think it's called Bursitis, arthritis from injury.

Can anyone help? I really want this to go away. :(
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Postby Inga » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:53 pm

Hi JarGOn,

First off you have my sympathy, being injured is miserable, but a definate consequence of training. I remember after 18 months or so after I started Kung Fu, and I was complaining about a shoulder injury, my sifu told me to just get used to it. His point being, that if I train dilgently and come to sparring regularly (which I do) I am bound to get some injuries. And I have. Mostly aches and bruises. Lots of bruises, although conditioning has cut down on those as well. And becoming smoother with my blocks :) Over the last 2 1/2 years I have hurt my shoulder, which was mended with tui na, my knee, which just slowly healed and my fingers. I have jammed my thumbs, one pinkie is still stiff from chin na in December and my middle finger has boutonniere syndrome (or deformity - http://www.orthosports.com.au/hand_boutonniere.html). What happened to my middle finger sounds similar to what has happened to your toe. After I injured my finger I knew it was not broken, so my instinct was to keep it moving, which turned out to be right (fortunately). The swelling took a long time to go away, and even now, although not as puffy it still looks odd. I had occupational therapy, and that helped a lot. They gave me braces to wear, one for the day, and one to sleep in. I also received advice and exercises to do. I do not know if you would benefit from OT, but perhaps ask your doctor. You may also consider the route of TCM, such as accupucture or tui na. Good luck. Let us know how you get on.
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Postby JarG0n » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:35 pm

Thanks for that!! I will try your suggestions.

In addition, in case I didn't mention it before, Bromelain is one of the best natural supplements used for reducing swelling.
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Postby DaleDugas » Sun May 06, 2007 1:51 pm

I make and sell 6 formula for martial arts training. You could try my Tiger Exits the Forest medicine. It has been shown to help people who have some serious injuries able to heal and get more function out of the injury.

You can contact me via my website listed in my sig.

be well,

Dale Dugas
Dale Dugas
Certified Instructor
New England Jiulong Baguazhang Wu Guan
Coiling Dragon Internal Arts


[email protected]
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