Broken Toe

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideThe Surprising Reasons You're in Pain

The Surprising Reasons You're in Pain

What is a broken toe?

A commonly injured area of the foot is the small bones of the toes (phalanges). There are 26 bones in the foot; 19 are bones in the forefoot (5 metatarsals and 14 phalanges). Trauma and the injury to the foot often causes one or more of the toe bones to break (fracture).

What are the symptoms of a broken toe?

  • Pain, swelling, or stiffness will occur in a broken toe following injury. It may be difficult to walk due to the pain, especially with a broken big toe. This is because the big toe bears much of the weight of the body during walking or pivoting. A broken little toe (pinky toe) may be painful, but usually does not limit the ability to walk.
  • Other symptoms include
    • a bruised toe,
    • bruising of the skin around
      the toe, and
    • a bent or deformed appear-
      ance of the toe if the broken
      bone is out of place.
  • Other problems may develop as a result of the fractured toe. Complications can occur immediately after the injury (minutes to days), or can develop much later (weeks to years).
  • People with weakened bones Continue Reading
Reviewed on 8/31/2015
References
REFERENCE: Silbergleit, R. MD. Foot Fracture. Medscape. Aug 07, 2014

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