Stephan's attempted toe amputation of 6 February 2014.

This page contains pictures of a nasty injury; please do not proceed without considering that warning!

Go on at your own risk - but probably not while eating.

There are no pictures of the injury as it first appeared, toe hanging, primarily because I needed not to look and feel queasy when the important thing was to get Stephan to the hospital!  I needed to be a safe driver, not a fainting one.

injured toe

It wasn't until later, looking at this picture from the emergency room, that I thought about the significance of the split shown here.

injured toe

While Stephan was under anaesthetic the following day, this x-ray was taken of his toe and the position of the K-wires inserted to stabilise the many bone fragments.

injured toe

Eighteen days after the surgery, the bandaging and leg-cast were removed.  The dissolvable stitches holding the cut had disappeared and there was some necrotic tissue down the outside of the toe, where it had been split.  The nail would have taken the full force of the insult, so will fall off at some point.

injured toe

The wires were worryingly prominent and we had to be extremely careful not to knock or catch them on things.  (The toe-nail has long had a fungal disorder, hence it's odd appearance.)

K-wires from injured toe

On 3 March the surgeon decided the wires, which were loosely swivelling, should come out since the risk of infection was increasing with a general wound infection in the rest of the toe.  I thought they'd make great novelty ear-rings.


Stephan was wearing his gumboots, not the steel-cap boots, but we wonder what the outcome might have been had he been wearing them?  The only mark on the boot the branch hit is a slight scuff where my finger is indicating, although the impact was obviously further toward the toe of the boot.  Would he have been protected by the steel cap, or would it have been, as happens sometimes, folded down into his foot making everything much worse?

On 5 March the wounds are still horrible to look at and I'm dressing the toe each day.  Stephan's still in quite a bit of pain and keeping his foot elevated most of the time.

Late April: looking rather different now.  There are lots of photos of the progress between these points, which I will organise sometime, but for those interested in the current state, here it is.

injured toe

22 April 2014, after a determined nurse peeled off the thick scabs, revealing some nicely healed skin.

injured toe

22 April.

injured toe

Two days later, after the remaining unhealed area had responded to being disturbed.  Stephan's toe and foot still swell and turn a gruesome crimson colour if he is upright for too long, but it is all gradually improving.