Broken Toes, Mangled Knuckles and BJJ


Last nights class was good as always but it wasn’t without its mishaps.  Josh, while doing a umpa broke his smallest toe.  Yes, that is a picture of his foot, courtesy of Mark.  The smallest toe doesn’t look broken.  Maybe a little swollen but Josh said it was bending in all the wrong places.  It seemed to be a very clean snap and didn’t hurt much according to him.  I imagine today it is a different story.  Mark taped it up and Josh went back to rolling.

So what do you do for a broken toe?  I couldn’t think of anything but taping and basic First Aid,  R.I.C.E. – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.  I figure some of you out there might have done a toe or two and have some advice I can share with Josh.  Any suggestions or things to look out for?

What about knuckles?  I had a hold of a gi lapel and my opponent yanked it away.  My middle finger made a sickening pop, that didn’t hurt much, and we went on.  After my finger was sore and has developed a knot on the side.  When I showed it to my doctor he checked to make sure my tendons were intact but that was about it.  Any one have a similar injury and know what’s going on with my finger?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

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8 Replies to “Broken Toes, Mangled Knuckles and BJJ”

  1. What to do for a broken toe? Depends on the toe, and RICE.

    I broke my big toe (2 spiral fractures) three weeks ago. I heard it snap and went to the ER (there was no way I could have kept rolling). After x-rays to check that the ends of the bone were aligned the doctor fitted me with a cast, got me an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, and let me know I was going to have a 6 week BJJ vacation. 🙁

    The small toes can be buddy taped to an adjacent toe and don’t need a cast, but it might be worth having a doctor take a look to make sure the bones are aligned. If the break goes through a joint there’s an increased risk of arthritis down the road.

    All stuff I really wish I hadn’t had to learn about broken toes, yuck.

    1. A break can go through a joint? Oh! Ouch! Thanks Laura for telling me. I would have never guessed that one.

  2. What would ice, compression and elivation do for a broken bone? Or for anything else? You gotta set the bone then imobilize it by tapeing it to another toe. If you don’t bump it much it will heal up pretty good. Then find the guy that did it to you and kick him in the face. Listen to me, I am a Medical Doctor sometimes. But I hate feet. Wont go near them. So you are on your own.

    1. Get the swelling down is what I was thinking. Improve blood flow to speed healing, etc. And if you will start showing up to class again I’ll tap you out.

  3. I broke a finger and a toe. Toe wasn’t too bad, it was the one next to the pinky toe and I pretty much just taped it and took it easy on that foot for a while. For the finger, I was out almost 3 months. It was a pretty bad spiral fracture of my middle finger. You can tell if it’s a break pretty easilly because it will look bruised and swollen, and the swelling takes a few days to go down. Both of them I actually heard the snap, so I knew what it was. But the finger took way longer to heal than it should’ve because instead of going to the doctor right away, I kept rolling till class was over. I’m old enough to know better.

    1. You would be surprised by how many people are “old enough to know better” and do it any way. I guess I didn’t break a finger then. Still don’t know what the knot on the side of my finger is about.

  4. I did the same thing with my finger – my middle knuckle on the ring finger popped, a knot appeared on the side of the knuckle, it is painful if I bend it or if someone shakes my hand… I went to the doctors and after checking if the tendons were ok he said it was swelling inside the joint and could take 6 months to a year to heal properly. Thankfully it doesn’t hurt to much once I start rolling and the adrenaline kicks in!

    1. That is good to hear that some one has had a similar injury. I guess I’ll see what happens in 6 months to a year. Mine like yours doesn’t hurt. Unless it is pressed from the side. I tape it good each time a roll and I haven’t had more problems.

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