A common myth is that there is nothing that can be done for a toe fracture. Toe injuries need to be assessed to ensure that there is not a broken bone that is displaced, gapped or angulated, which could result in incorrect healing and resulting deformity,
Broken toes are generally very painful and can cause a great deal of discomfort when trying to go about your daily routine. Those who have broken their toes often recall experiencing pain and swelling as the first signs of something gone wrong. After some time has passed, you may also notice that the affected area has stiffened or has turned a bluish color. The easiest way to tell if a toe has been broken is to look for any deformities, such as a bend in the toe, or if the toe is sticking out in an unusual manner. If you feel you have broken your toe, it is advised that you stay off your feet as much as possible to prevent furthering the damage. Some patients have also found the technique of “buddy taping” helpful. This consists of taping the deformed toe to the toe next to it, in an effort to hold the deformed toe in the correct positioning. For a proper diagnosis and an advised treatment plan, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible.
A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. John Hoy from Seattle Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What to Know About a Broken Toe
Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).
Symptoms of a Broken Toe
Bruising on the skin and toenail
The inability to move the toe
Toe appears crooked or disfigured
Tingling or numbness in the toe
Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.
Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Seattle, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.
What to Know About a Broken Toe
Trauma to the foot, especially the toes, can occur in many ways. Banging them, stubbing them, or dropping something on them are a few different ways this trauma can occur. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break or fracture. Another type of trauma that can break a toe is repeated activity that places stress on the toe for prolonged periods of time.
Broken toes can be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. Symptoms of minor toe fractures include throbbing pain, swelling, bruising on the skin and toenail, and the inability to move the toe with ease. Severe toe fractures require medical attention and are indicated when the broken toe appears crooked or disfigured, when there is tingling or numbness in the toe, or when there is an open, bleeding wound present on the toe.
Generally, a minor toe break will heal without long-term complications. However, it is important to discontinue activities that put pressure on the toe. It is best to stay off of the injured toe and immediately get a splint or cast to prevent any more additional movement of the toe bones. You can also immobilize your toe by placing a small cotton ball between the injured toe and the toe beside it. Then, tape the two toes together with medical tape. Swelling can be alleviated by placing an ice pack on the broken toe directly as well as elevating your feet above your head.
Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery, especially when the big toe has been broken. Due to its position and the pressure the big toe endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if it is not properly treated. Pain associated with minor toe fractures can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Prescription pain killers may be necessary for severe toe fractures.
The healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. In severe cases where the toe becomes infected or requires surgery, healing time can take up to eight weeks or more. While complications associated with a broken toe are immediately apparent, it is important to note that there are rare cases when additional complications, such as osteoarthritis, can develop over time. You should immediately speak with your podiatrist if you think you have broken your toe due to trauma. They will be able to diagnose the injury and recommend the appropriate treatment options.