Broken Toe

This is an update for those amongst my readers interested in some aspects of my life. I broke my toe, will now be walking on crutches for a while, and can expect to be fully healed in 4-6 weeks.


Friday, 25/04/08, ca. 20:45 GMT: When I threw my opponent in Ju-Jutsu class, his foot swept across the front of mine, taking the second-to-littlest toe of my left foot with it. There was a sudden pain, and it stood out at an angle of about 30 – 35° from it’s regular position, right across my little toe. A moment later I sat down on the mat, and while people were still milling about, figuring out what happened, I nudged my toe back into position. There was little resistance, no grinding or popping sensation, and at that time, also no pain.

The pain came a few minutes later, when the initial adrenaline rush wore off, and I had to lie down for the duration of a few heartbeats, to clear my dizziness. Shortly after that, my sensei arrived with a strip of plaster tape and with it stuck my damaged to the middle toe, holding it in place.

The lessons normally ended at 21:00, so by the time I’d manged to change back into street clothes they were over. My sensei dropped me off at home, since I would have had a hard time walking even those few hundred meters.

I decided that while I could drive with the foot, I’d wait until the morning to decide whether or not to go to hospital. Keep in mind that at this point all I knew was that my toe had been in an awkward position for a moment or two, I had no reason to believe it was broken.

However, I did consult Google and found this and other How-To guides on diagnosing broken toes. Since I could get some weight on the foot, I didn’t get any grinding sensations, there was little swelling around the toe, and I definitely had no raised temperature, I figured that too many of the characteristic symptoms were not met, hence my toe could not be broken after all.

Initially I had no trouble falling asleep when I went to bed a few hours later, but after about two hours of fitful sleep, I woke up to an intensely throbbing pain and decided to take a mild painkiller. That got me through the night.

Saturday, 26/04/08: My foot had swollen a little around the base of the toes, but overall the level of pain I was in had subsided. I considered that to be a good sign on the whole… on the other hand, while I could hobble a bit the night before, now lances of pain shot through my foot whenever I tried to put weight on it. I tried to call my doctor, only to find that they were closed on saturdays.

Now I had intended to go to London with my wife and a friend to see Opeth at the Brixton Academy. Since I had the tickets and our friend in London didn’t, I felt obliged to attend the concert1. That put me in a dilemma — should I drive to London or to the hospital?

Either way, driving was pretty ok, since the only times I have to use my left foot are when I change gear. Even then I can use my big toe to push down the pedal, not causing me undue pain. I grabbed some painkillers and headed for London and the concert.

There were a couple of benefits that made that decision more attractive:

  1. Once in London, I figured I would be sitting around for the most part anyway. The acadamy has seating available, and given my predicament, I was certain a seat could be freed for me.
  2. Our friends’ father was involved in a nasty accident a while ago, and still had his crutches, which he lent me for a while. That made moving around a lot easier. He also suggested that I had dislocated my toe, since a clean break affecting only the toe shouldn’t have caused my foot to swell so much — and he should know!
  3. Opeth!!!

  1. It turned out to be very good. Opeth concerts tend to be. []
  • Paul Mohr

    Sorry to hear about that, I have done it before also if that is any consolation.

    Paul Mohr’s last blog post..Everybody should have a bot

    • unwesen

      It’s no big deal, really. I just hope to get to the point where I can move around the house freely fairly quickly :)

  • der-eremit

    Get well soon dude

    der-eremit’s last blog post..Hans Reiser ’schuldig’

    • unwesen

      I’ll do my best, as always :)

  • Mischa

    Gute Besserung!

    (Hmm, Opeth at the Brixton Academy…now that is a reason to be jealous.)

    • unwesen

      I’ll trade you for a broken toe!

  • Mischa

    There is no gain without pain?! ;-P

    • unwesen


      At least they played a song from the upcoming Watershed album, and it sounded interesting. Slightly more “progressive” in terms of rythm changes, etc. Can’t wait for the new album!

  • Norman Liebold

    Das erinnert doch glatt ein wenig an ein Erlebnis vor mehr als zehn Jahren, als Du wild und barfüssig auf einem Schotterweg herumsprangst, um Dir hernach die Basaltstückchen aus der Fußsohle zu puhlen :-D. Schön zu hören, daß Du wieder trainierst! Ich hoffe, der Zeh macht es bald wieder! (Ist er nun gebrochen? Oder doch nur ver- oder ausgerenkt? Es ist zuweilen ganz erstaunlich, in welche Positionen Knochen kommen können, ohne zu brechen… beste Abschwellung!

    Norman Liebold’s last blog post..Euthanatus begonnen

    • unwesen

      Heh, daran habe ich mich gar nicht mehr erinnert :P

      Es ist ein Stueck vom Knochen abgebrochen, die Sehne hat’s weggezogen, als ich mir den Zeh ausrenkte. Naja, wie gesagt, aendert nichts an der Behandlungsweise, oder daran, wie lange ich warten muss bis ich wieder mobiler bin.

  • Shrimpy

    Oh dear, oh dear. Poor Jens.
    I sprained my ankle once… it was terrible. Good thing you are such a trooper. Mine was pretty pathetic, I rolled my ankle down a hill, and was DOWN FOR THE BLOODY COUNT. yeah

    also, I enjoy that you go to hospital, and not to the hospital, or to a hospital :) and in case you are worried, our hospital is literally right around the corner. So you will be safe, no matter what happens.
    Also remember, paracetamol is tylenol here (or acetaminophen)

    Shrimpy’s last blog post..Belong to Me

    • unwesen

      Hmm, is going to hospital such an English thing to do? I hadn’t noticed I wrote that!

      Anyway, the hospital isn’t too far from where I live either, about 3 miles, I guess. But that’s not walking distance anymore, at least not on one foot.

      Seriously, though, I fainted once or twice when I sprained my ankle. I don’t know what that’s about, but somehow that affects me pretty badly.

  • Linux & Lip Gloss

    Ouch! I hope you get well soon.

    Linux & Lip Gloss’s last blog post..Time Limit Detective (時効警察)

    • unwesen

      I’m sure I will, thanks!

      Today I can wiggle my toe a little bit better, which suggests to me that the bone fragment has grown back onto the bone again. It won’t be very firmly attached, but at least I got some mobility back! Still can’t put weight on it, though.

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