Don’t Let Your Lawn Be a Toe-Away Zone!


Another edition of “Stupid Things People Do to Hurt Themselves”: Lawn Mower Foot Injuries


Your lawn could easily become a "toe-away" zone if you’re not careful when operating your lawn mowers. Just this weekend, while I was on call for FAANT, an unfortunate gentleman decided to mow his lawn in sandals, and ended up amputating the ends of his great and second toes after the blade got stuck on high wet grass. Nasty injury and very preventable!


The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates more than 37,000 Americans suffer a power mower-related injury each year. Other groups cite up to 70,000 injuries! That’s way too many injured piggies!


Foot injuries from lawn mowers can range from dirty, infection-prone lacerations to severed tendons to amputated toes. If you or your loved one gets in a tussle with your lawn mower, even just a minor injury, immediate treatment is necessary to clean and flush the wound thoroughly and apply antibiotics to prevent infection. Superficial wounds can be treated on an outpatient basis, but more serious injuries usually require some kind of surgical intervention to repair tendon damage, deep clean the wound and suture it. Tendons severed in lawnmower accidents generally can be re-attached surgically unless toes have been amputated.


What can you do to avoid your lawn being a toe-away zone?

• Don’t mow a wet lawn. Losing control from slipping on rain-soaked grass is the leading cause of foot injuries caused by power mowers.

• Wear heavy shoes or work boots when mowing. No sneakers and definitely no sandals or barefoot.

• Mow slowly across slopes, Never go up and down.

• Never pull a running mower backward.

• If your mower gets stuck, don’t tug on it towards your body! Turn it off and untangle it.

• Keep the clip bag attached when operating a power mower to prevent projectile injuries.

• Use a mower with a release mechanism on the handle that automatically shuts it off when the hands let go.

• Always keep children away from the lawn when mowing it.


If you do sustain a lawn mower injury, seek immediate attention of your local foot and ankle surgeon!