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 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 maneuvering the toe back into place (reduction), casting, or splinting the toe.

Can I care for a broken toe at home?

Most minor toe injuries can be treated at home. If a person is unsure or suspects a fracture, seek medical attention. The following can be done to help decrease pain and swelling from a broken toe and to help the fracture heal properly.

  • Rest: Avoid strenuous exercise, prolonged standing, or walking. Crutches may be needed, or a special shoe or boot to wear when walking to avoid putting weight on the fracture while it heals.
  • Ice: Put ice in a plastic bag and apply it to the injury for 15-20 minutes every 1-2 hours for the first 1-2 days. Place a towel between the skin and the ice to protect the skin. Frozen peas or corn can also be used to ice the broken toe - they may conform to the fractured area better than ice.
  • Elevation: To decrease swelling and pain, keep the foot raised above the level of the heart as much and as often as possible. Prop the foot up as much as possible (for example use several pillows), especially when sleeping. Reclining in a lounge chair is also helpful. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 8/31/2015
REFERENCE: Silbergleit, R. MD. Foot Fracture. Medscape. Aug 07, 2014


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  • Broken Toe - Treatments

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  • Broken Toe - Diagnosis

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  • Broken Toe - Seeing a Doctor

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