It’s not exactly worthy of three boldface capital lines in the New York Times, but it’s news to a lot of people, most of them far south of the legal voting age.  And though I may have no bloody idea who this apparently very famous teen idol is, it’s a good segue into the topic of… cleaning up after your pets.  Probably not a bad idea to discuss these pesky toe fractures too.

Each one of our little piggies has three bones, and no, they are not the Mama, Papa, and Baby bone.  They are the proximal, middle and distal phalanges.  And in the course of mild to moderate unfortunate trauma, such as kicking a piece of furniture in the middle of the night or slipping on canine discharge, these bones may sustain a fracture.  Which, by the way is indeed the same as a break.  The most common fracture pattern is the bone closest to the knuckle joint at the ball of the foot.  The fracture fragments are very rarely displaced and almost invariably heal well.

So the question that is commonly asked is: do I need to come in for an X-ray and what can you do for that anyway? And the answer is yes, and that depends.  It’s important to assess the severity of the fracture and ensure that it is not one of the rare, displaced fractures.  If the fracture fragments are displaced then it is possible to reduce the fracture in the office (although this is exceedingly rare).  Treatment of a regular, non-displaced toe fracture consists of the state of the art – that is, taping the toes together.  Fourth toe is taped to the fifth, second to the third and the big toe to itself, at the risk of revealing trade secrets.  There’s no wrong way to tape toes, but I’d suggest having it done by your friendly local NYC podiatrist rather than trying yourself.

So Ariana, whoever you may be, since you’re so very young, your toes should heal just fine.  If they don’t, your NYC podiatrist treats patients of all ages.  And next time clean up that mess young lady, or you’re grounded.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson

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Ernest L Isaacson DPM PC
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