The Olympics are here! Toe Injury and the US Gymnastics team

With the lighting of the cauldron and the opening ceremony on Friday, the London 2012 Olympics are well on their way. You may be spending most of the weekend glued to your television to catch the latest swimming, basketball, volleyball, or any number of results from other events. Since the games are so numerous and only come around every four years, you may find that you have to pick and choose which games to watch each day. Women’s gymnastics is always one of those games that are highly publicized. This year though the entire USA women’s gymnastics team was featured for the first time on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

News today reports one of those stars; gymnast McKayla Maroney has aggravated a broken big toe on her right foot.  She has been protecting the toe since injuring it back in May.  While practicing in London, she bumped it against a beam and aggravated the injury.  Luckily for the US team, she will be competing in the vault when the women begin the qualification round tomorrow morning.  By the time you’re reading this, the competition should already be on its way. As the defending champ in this particular feat, a solid performance by McKayla will put the USA team in excellent position for gold.

Most broken bones heal best when immobilized in a cast and given time to heal.  For the very small bones, phalanges, which make up your toes, casting isn’t an option.  There are two main options depending of the extent of injury.  For simple cracks or hairline fractures, the best thing to do is ‘buddy tape’.  By anchoring the injured toe to one that isn’t, you effectively create similar immobilization.  This is the therapy that McKayla is using to help her to compete in the Olympics. The second toe doesn’t offer much stabilization against the big toe and it will be a tough injury to land on. For displaced fractures, or ones in which there is a lot of space between the broken bones, surgery may be necessary.  Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS, your Austin podiatrist, can offer you the most ideal treatment for your particular foot injury. 

Kick your feet up and enjoy the games Austin!

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