If you’ve ever stubbed your toe hard, you probably know how much it hurts, now imagine the pain this patient went through after hitting his toe on the edge of a table!
Bed posts, furniture legs, uneven flagstone, toys, the world is rife with foot-level obstacles. Far too many for even the coordinated among us to completely avoid.
Toes seem to be among a select group of body parts that can be injured in a relatively insignificant way and yet still broadcast that they've been broken or in some other way irreparably damaged. This is because they are packed with nerves, specifically nerve-ending receptors called nociceptors that are good at detecting actual or potential tissue damage. When you stub your toe, you're massively stimulating a bunch of these nerve fibres at the same time. Those signals integrate with your spinal cord, which in turn relays that information to your brain. It's just a really big input, and it hurts like hell.
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