Broken Toe

What to Do For A Broken Toe

If a broken toe doesn't require medical care you can care for a broken toe at home by following these steps.

  • Rest the toe and avoid putting pressure it; use crutches, a boot, or cane if necessary.
  • Ice the toe 15-20 minutes every couple of hours for the first two or three days.
  • Keep the foot elevated above the level of the heart to help decrease swelling.
Picture of Broken Toe

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
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