Get help from best doctors, anonymously
Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Tennis Toe - How it Should be Treated?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Gurinder Bedi 91% (22 ratings)
CCST(Internal Medicine), FRCS (Orth Surg), FRCS, MS - Orthopaedics, DNB Orthopedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi  •  31 years experience
Tennis Toe - How it Should be Treated?

Tennis toe is also known as runner’s toe since athletes are mostly runners; skiers and tennis players also get this injury often. Due to its ugly appearance, tennis toe is also known as a black toenail. This injury causes bleeding under the toe along with moderate to heavy pain. Although it is not considered to be type 1 serious injury, it can still force an athlete to abstain from participating in any events. The blood from the toenail might take its own sweet time to get out of the way. As a result, the recovery time for this injury can last for weeks together. This, unfortunately, is also an ideal condition for infection to set in.

How does it happen?
This condition may arise because of the friction between the toenail and the running shoes or constant downward pressure on the toe. In case if the shoe is tighter than normal, it can damage the toenail. If on the other hand, the shoe is very loose, it can result in similar condition due to heavy pressure on the nail. Tennis toe can also arise in a situation, if the toe constantly bangs the shoe from inside. Extreme hot weather may also result in toe swelling. Finally, one may encounter tennis toe if a blow is faced on the toe. Irrespective of the cause, the blood clots inside the nail resulting in swelling and pain. Too much damage might result in falling off of the toenail altogether.

Treatment plan:
1. If the tennis toe is minor, the injury resolves all by itself
2. The toenail should be clipped together to ensure that it does not result in any friction with the shoe.
3. During the injury, it is advised that a person wears bigger size shoes with wider toe space so that it does not result in any further irritation.
4. If the toenail is torn, make sure to tap it up so that adequate protection is there from outside forces.
5. In case the injury is serious a doctor might have to intervene and drain the blood with a surgical instrument.
6. Another medical solution is to remove the toenail surgically, drain the blood and tape it up for a good one week until new nail formation takes place.

Precautionary measure:
1. Running shoes should be at least half a size bigger than the normal size.
2. Toenails should be regularly trimmed in order to avoid any injury.
3. If a person has a tendency of sweating too much, it makes sense to wear a pair of socks at all times.
4. While running, shoe laces should be tightened to avoid sudden friction between the toe and the shoe resulting into tennis toe.

2267 people found this helpful