Back when sailing, fishing, whaling, maritime, and war ships were a larger part of our culture and livelihoods, sailors would often drop heavy objects on their feet. Ouch!
The term ship foot is believed to have originated with sailors on gun ships. After a cannon recoiled it would often strike the sailor's toe. The toe and toenail would then bruise and if the impact was strong enough, the toenail would die and fall off the toe.
Today, this term can be used in any situation, not just ships, and can often accompany toe fractures. Symptoms may include discoloration of the toenail, usually bruising in blue, purple, black, or red. You may notice trapped blood under the toenail as well, along with blisters and cracked skin.
Podiatrists will often recommend the R.I.C.E. course of treatment for a ship foot- rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Even if a toe fracture accompanies ship foot, your podiatrist will still recommend R.I.C.E. The discoloration of the toenail will eventually grow out. If the toenail is cracked or blood is coming from under your toenail it may be necessary to remove the toenail.
While recuperating from this injury, you may experience pain in your foot, legs, or back as you alter your gait to take pressure off your injured toe while you walk. It is crucial to follow the R.I.C.E. procedure to avoid affecting other parts of your body.
Reference: Wise Geek.
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