Detached Toenail & A TKR

Hi my favorite readers! Recently, something happened that I believe is worthy of sharing. It might happen to you. So..I’m hoping my insight can provide some useful information.

If you’re like me, you were told the importance of staying away from infections after your tkr. An infection can easily lead to a new joint replacement. And…who wants that?

Here’s the story…One of the after effects of my car accident (35+ years ago), was a double toe nail. It’s the middle toe on each foot. Don’t ask me why. It just happened and I live with it.

Well…upon enjoying a wonderful excursion that involved A LOT of walking on a variety of surfaces, one of these double toe nails became loose. It happened after 2.5 days of walking.

The first symptoms were pain, a slight redness, and discomfort when walking. I took a break and checked my feet. My one toe was obviously overstressed, so I put an extra bandage on it to prepare for more walking. My foot check didn’t show anything out of the ordinary. I just figured I was walking too much. I took short breaks throughout the day. I elevated my leg at night.

The second day, the pain was becoming more intense. Walking was not fun, especially downhill. It was very trying. I needed more breaks. It didn’t help that the person I was with yelled at me to “MAN UP!!”, while storming away. ( I have forgiven that behavior, but am not tolerating it. We’re no longer friends..BTW..) When I did a foot check at day’s end, the toenail was still in place. I did the bandage, cleaning, and elevating routine again.

On the third day, something told me I needed to do an extra foot check before starting my walking activities. My toenail was partially detached from the toe bed. It was the strangest thing I’ve seen. The nail was held in place on each side by a thin piece of skin. I could press on the end of my nail and see my nail bed. Whoa…I put on extra bandages until I could apply more first aid.

My first reaction…”I CAN’T GO SWIMMING!!!” I thought I was destined to two years of purgatory land-based exercises. Yikes…I then heard that all I needed to do was keep it wrapped up. Still…to be truthful…I’m extremely diligent about AVOIDING infections at all cost. I was scared.

So…I got home, bought some Neosporin, a ton of bandages and did home-based first aid. When swimming, I applied waterproof bandages that were ok. After every swim, I would gently dry the toe, apply some new antiseptic, and change the bandage. I did this every morning and night, also.

As of today’s writing, I would like everyone to know..I am the proud owner of a new toe nail. 🙂 So far, it is a single toe nail. Woohoo!! It took about two months to grow. I am very blessed to have a healthy immune system and good common sense.

End of detached toenail story. Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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