About 10 days ago my husband dropped a very large cabinet on his big toe. The toe was completely black and swollen. The bottom of his foot was extremely bruised as well as swelling throughout the foot. He "does not do Dr.'s." We have soaked it each night and after about 3 days I lanced the swelling to drain some of the blood around the nail and try and relieve some of the pressure. He has continued to soak it each night in salts and I have replaced the bandage each night and evening applying Neosporin ointment. He's living on Advil. Can anyone tell me what the risks are of staying this course and not seeing a Dr.?
Yikes! I can't imagine not seeing a doctor after crushing a toe!! I think the biggest risk would be if he broke a bone, and didn't get the correct procedure (i.e., surgery) in time to make sure the bone will grow back together. Another risk is infection. Bring him to the doctor - better safe than sorry.
It sounds like pretty good treatment to me. As long as you don't see any redness or oozing of pus you are good to go. That is pretty much what a doctor would do so good for you. The only complication is if also broke his toe bones but as long as it isn't sticking through the skin or chipped off in any way he will be okay. Unless he has an x-ray of the toe he won't know what internal damage is done but if it continues to hurt longer than you think it should he might need it fixed. You never want to take a chance with the big toe it is your balance toe so he would want it at least in one piece and not flopping around as in broke. After the swelling goes down he would know more.
I would absolutely recommend going to get an x-ray. I also had the same thoughts as your husband and some of the people who posted here saying there is nothing to be done with a broken toe. In hindsight, that was the absolute, single worst decision I have ever made in my life. The multiple surgeries, the complications, the things that I can't do now, I regret on a daily basis.
When I was 15, I smashed my big toe against a soccer ball. I did not drop something on it like your husband did, but regardless, he and I suffered a traumatic injury. At 15, I thought that there was nothing to be done; I just jammed it real bad and needed to give it some time. Fast forward 15 years; now I am 30 and finally go to see a doctor because my toe hurts so bad. Turns out that I completely smashed the joint of my big toe and my toe started to fuse that joint in place on it's own with a huge hump of bone.
Since that intial doctor visit, I have had 3 surgeries, a pin placed in my toe, a joint implant put in place, joint implant removed, bone taken off my hip to fill in the joint, and a plate and 9 screws. My big toe on my right foot is completely rigid now, and while I am pain free at the moment, there are some activities that I cannot do because I cannot bend my big toe anymore. It's fused together and held in place with a plate.
All of this could have been avoided had I gone to a doctor and gotten an x-ray. Please, please, please, I implore your husband to go and get an x-ray. What's the worst that could happen if he does? I can tell you the worst that can happen if he doesn't becuase I am living it to this day. Everything I went through could have been avoided had I gotten it taken care of.
Good luck. It's not easy to talk other people into getting their health problems taken care of. I am living proof and regret my decision to this day. Anything I can offer to help prevent others from going down this path is something I take very seriously. If you would like to contact me privately, I would be happy to talk with you or your husband. I can show him x-rays and photos that would make his stomach turn.