Prince Harry needed to train extensively for his grueling Antarctic trek but he admits that his broken toe hindered his training. He still joked that at least he got away from Prince William’s screaming child even after using the broken toe as an excuse to pass on the trek. Perhaps the extreme cold is allowing him to tolerate the pain and decrease the swelling.
Prince Harry is toughing out the broken toe and extreme cold to support a great cause, Walking With The Wounded expedition. Those who have been wounded in battle just want to lead normal lives and this expedition is proof that they can overcome any obstacle, said the Prince. So, is a broken to bad enough to stop you from activities? There are several types of toe fractures and foot fractures in general. A foot stress fracture also known as a hairline fracture can occur with normal activities. A stress fracture is usually well aligned and the bones on either side of the fracture are attached. Other fractures may fully break through the bone and the fragments may separate from each other. In either case the healing time is the same. Well, many of us are not out trekking in the bitter cold, but a broken toe can be a problem for regular activities and daily exercise. Many people believe that a broken toe can just be wrapped with tape and it is no big deal. However, this is not the case. A broken toe bone takes 4-6 weeks to heal and in severe cases could even require surgery. If you choose not to treat your broken toe you can easily end up with swelling and pain that will not resolve and the onset of arthritis in the toe joints. This can lead to long-term problems with activities. So what should you do if you believe that your toe may be broken? My first advice would be to pass on advice from your friends and family. They mean well but may be getting off track on the path to healing. You should make an appointment with a podiatrist and have an x-ray to evaluate the area to see if you have just injured the soft tissue or if you do have a fracture. If you have a fracture you will likely have the area splinted and you will need to wear a specialized healing shoe or possibly a boot. If the fracture has entered the joint of has become pulled apart or dislocated you may need the toe set in the office or you may need surgery. Your podiatrist will help determine the proper treatment course. With a broken to you will need to take it easy and stop major activities. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are the key to reducing pain and to healing well. Be sure to wear the prescribed shoe or boot whenever walking or on your feet. Take good care of your feet, they need to last a lifetime. You should also pass on the Antarctic trek if you’ve broken your toe or injured your foot or ankle!