I thought I would share my experience. I was at a water-park last year with my kiddos - one of those places where they have the huge plastic slide that you can ride down on a sheet of running water. Those things are way fun - but as I learned can be very dangerous too!
I was going down on my stomach, feet first, on a dare from my oldest DS. The big toenail on my right foot got caught on a seam and was instantly ripped off. Clean (but not at all pain-free!!!!). OMG that hurt.
Anyway - when the nail started growing back in - it came in crooked and started growing down, into my skin. I went to a podiatrist who removed that nail (again - very painful) and told me not to wear heels or any shoe that would squeeze my toes.
Again the nail started growing back in crooked and down. This hurts like hell, btw (please pardon my French!
Another trip to another podiatrist and this one tells me that big toe nails never ever grow back in right and that he will just remove it again and cauterize the nailbed so that no nail ever grows again. Well, I didn't want this "remedy" because I really like to have my toenails painted (I wear flip flops mostly year round). So I told him no thanks and had him just remove the nail again. He was very upset with me but I had finally gotten a good idea.
I went straight to the local beauty shop and had a nail technician paint an acrylic "fake nail" on top of my skin on the big toe. She looked at my other foot as a guide to make it the same size and shape. I've had to go in about once a month to get a "fill" for looks.
Last month I had her take off the "fake nail" and underneath is my own very happy, very straight big toenail. I haven't had any problems with it growing in crooked or down, and even though the nail is not very strong, I know it will become that way as time goes on. The nail technician tells me that if I had just come to her in the first place - I would have never had any problems. I never dreamed this would work but was finally desperate.
It takes about one year for a full toenail (on the big toe) to grow back in btw.
Hope this helps someone in the future, although I never would wish anyone in the world to lose a big toenail in such a horrible fashion!!!!!!
And - always wear swimming socks when visiting water parks!!