The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Alabama Quarterback AJ McCarron Sacked By Ingrown Toenail

Posted by on Tuesday, September 24th, 2013


Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron has been all over the news recently. First, he became the first quarterback to win back-to-back BCS championship titles and was awarded the 2012 CFPA trophy. Then, gossip hounds couldn’t get enough of his smoking-hot girlfriend, Katherine Webb — a former Miss Alabama. Now that the two have split, AJ’s toe is the talk of the town. No one wants to be known as “that quarterback with the ingrown toenail,” but when it sidelines you, there is not much you can say or do.

aj mccarron
Image Source:

 What Happened To AJ McCarron’s Toe?

Friday night, McCarron was spotted walking in a boot, which led to a lot of speculation. During Saturday’s game, he completed 10 of 23 passes for 110 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and he was sacked four times. So it was clear he was not playing his best. Even so, coach Nick Saban defended McCarron’s performance, saying that his “mobility is fine” and that “the people around him need to play better.”

“It’s a little ridiculous, if you ask me,” McCarron said about all the attention he’s been receiving. Even Sports Center couldn’t help but speculate over why the star athlete may be wearing a boot. To clarify, McCarron confessed: “I had an ingrown toenail, and it got stepped on, which made it worse. It got infected really bad, and I had it surgically removed. I had part of my nail cut off and then part of the skin on the side so that they could go in and get the hangnail out.”

Another source said AJ had practiced all week and was wearing the boot “as a precaution.” Yet, to say that he “only has an ingrown toenail” is a huge misstatement. This type of injury can be extremely painful and is nothing to scoff at.

injured toenail
Image Source:

The Real Deal On Ingrown Toenails

Repeated trauma to the nail is a common cause of ingrown toenails, which seems to be the case for poor AJ, who has had his foot crushed by opponents on more than one occasion. Other possible causes may be tight shoes, genetics or fungal infections. The pain can be all-consuming, particularly if the toe becomes red, swollen and infected.

Surgical removal of an ingrown nail typically involves removing a small portion of side nail and destroying the nail bed beneath, so the new nail grows straight, thinner, and outside of the skin. Pain relief is immediate, since the nail is no longer embedded in the flesh. Notable healing will take place within 24 hours. Over-the-counter pain medication may be needed once the numbness of the local anesthetic wears off.

Recovery For Ingrown Toenails

The wound will be dressed in bandages and will need to be soaked in Betadine solution and re-bandaged twice a day for a few days. Wearing a boot provides more room and comfort as the tissue heals. Most people return to work within a day or two, but physical activity should be postponed for two weeks. Clearly, AJ is not following his doctor’s protocol on that one!

Dr. Geldwert sees many ingrown toenail sufferers at his NYC office. Stop by and see us if you’re looking for the most advanced podiatry care and a quicker return to the game.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.