Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers sustained a left toe injury last the month during his COVID-19 quarantine. Despite playing with a broken toe Rogers managed to lead the Packers to a six time victory against the Chicago Bears, settling milestones and records along the way. But he mentioned that whatever healing took place during the Packers' bye week was wiped out and described his toe injury as “very painful”.
So just how much pain is Aaron Rogers in? Quite a bit. Typically a phalangeal (toe) fracture presents with bruising, swelling and throbbing pain that worsens when in a dependent position with significant pain from injury to the ligaments and tendons surrounding the small joints of the toe. Repetitive injury from overuse further aggravates the fracture site with pain. Putting too much weight or stress on a broken toe can lead to a longer recovery and painful setbacks.
If the fracture is non-displaced there is a risk that the fracture may become displaced (the fractured bone moves out of normal alignment) with greater pain. If the affected toe is cut or punctured at the time of the injury there is an increased risk of developing a bone infection if you have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or a compromised or weakened immune system.
Treatment of phalangeal fractures of the foot depends on the fracture type, the degree of displacement and whether fracture reduction is stable or not. Complex fractures may require manipulation (reduction) of the bone back into its proper position. If the fracture is severe, the toe may require full immobilization to protect it from further injury or in some cases surgical intervention. Prompt treatment and proper alignment of the fractured site is necessary to prevent further problems including angular deformities, non-union or malunion, chronic pain and long term dysfunction.
A broken toe is a painful injury but despite the pain Aaron Rodgers says "Its not going to stop me from playing".