Broken Toe

Broken toe facts

  • Broken toes are often caused by trauma or injury. Prolonged repetitive movements can cause a type of broken toe called a stress or hairline fracture.
  • Symptoms of a broken toe include: pain, swelling, stiffness, bruising, deformity, and difficultly walking.
  • Possible complications of a broken toe include: nail injury, compound fracture, infection, deformity, or arthritis.
  • Seek immediate medical care if you suspect an open fracture of the toe; if there is bleeding; cold, numb, or tingling sensation; if the toe appears deformed or is pointing in the wrong direction; or blue or gray color to the injured area.
  • A broken toe is diagnosed with a medical examination, which may include X-rays.
  • To help decrease pain and swelling in a broken toe, elevate the foot, ice the injury, and stay off the foot.
  • Depending on the severity of the fracture, the toe may need to be put back into place (reduced), and some compound toe fractures may require surgery.
  • Pain from a broken toe can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication.
  • Buddy taping (taping the toe to an adjacent toe can be used to splint a fractured toe.
  • Most broken toes heal without complications in six weeks. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 8/31/2015
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