Broken Toe (cont.)

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When should I call a doctor about a broken toe?

Go to a hospital's emergency department if the following signs or symptoms are present.

  • Any symptoms of a possible open (compound) fracture which include open wounds, bleeding, or drainage from near the broken toe
  • Cold, numb, tingling, or unusual sensation in the toes
  • Blue or gray colored skin near the injury
  • If the injured two appears deformed or is pointing in the wrong direction (angulated)

Call a doctor if any of the following occur

  • If the broken toe pain worsens or new pain is not relieved by pain medication
  • Sores, redness, or open wounds near the injured toe
  • Bruising or bleeding under the toenail that causes significant pain
  • A cast or splint is damaged or broken.

How is a broken toe diagnosed?

Seek medical evaluation soon after the injury to ensure proper treatment and healing.

  • A doctor will ask questions to determine how the toe was injured and will examine the injured toe and possibly check for other injuries.
  • A doctor may take an X-ray to evaluate if the toe is broken or fractured. X-rays are not always necessary to diagnose a broken toe, especially if the break is in one of the smaller toes.
  • Stress fractures, due to overuse or repetitive movement, may need an MRI to be diagnosed.

What is the treatment for a broken toe?

A broken toe can be cared for at home by decreasing the pain and swelling using rest, ice, and elevation; allowing the fracture to heal properly. In certain situations, a broken toe may need medical care such as reduction (putting the toe back into place), casting, or splinting the toe.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/10/2014

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